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Press release from PR Newswire

Reflecting Strong Seeds-and-Traits Performance, Monsanto Q1 on Track as Company Confirms Full-Year Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow Guidance

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Reflecting Strong Seeds-and-Traits Performance, Monsanto Q1 on Track as Company Confirms Full-Year Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow Guidance08:00 EST Thursday, January 06, 2011Nine Projects Advance Phase in Biotech Pipeline, Reinforcing Monsanto's Industry-Leading R&D Engine; U.S. Seed Order Pace Tracking with TargetsST. LOUIS, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) reported earnings per share growth and significant free cash generation for the first quarter of 2011, which ended Nov. 30, 2010, and today announced nine phase advances as part of its annual research and development pipeline update.  The company also reaffirmed its mid-teens earnings growth and free cash flow guidance for fiscal year 2011. ($ in millions)First Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010Net Sales By SegmentCorn seed and traits$   614$   569Soybean seed and traits226201Vegetable seeds183173Cotton seed and traits11259All other crops seeds and traits2829TOTAL Seeds and Genomics$1,163$1,031Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides$523$509All other agricultural productivity products 144157TOTAL Agricultural Productivity$667$666TOTAL Net Sales$1,830$1,697Gross Profit$818$739Operating Expenses$   760$   777Interest Expense ? Net$28 $28 Other Expense (Income) ? Net $    12$    (12)Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Monsanto Company$   6$   (19)Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share (See note 1.)$0.01$  (0.03)Items Affecting Comparability ? EPS ImpactRestructuring charges0.010.02Income on discontinued operations-(0.01)Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share from Ongoing Business (For the definition of ongoing EPS, see note 1.)$  0.02$  (0.02)Effective Tax Rate33%56%First Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010Comparison as a Percent of Net Sales:Gross profit45%44%Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A)25%29%Research and development expenses 17%16%Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes 1%(3)%Net income (loss) attributable to Monsanto Company-(1)%"Our first quarter tracked well with our operating plan across the crops, geographies and products we expect to be drivers in 2011," said Hugh Grant, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Monsanto.  "We're executing against the areas most important to our business growth, particularly our seeds-and-traits focus in Latin America and delivering on our seed strategy in the United States.  Our early U.S. order books show farmers are interested in our newest products, Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans and the reduced-refuge corn family anchored by Genuity® SmartStax®.  And our R&D pipeline remains strong, leaving the company well-positioned for long-term growth."Results of OperationsNet sales increased 8 percent in the quarter to $1.8 billion, with increases across all major crops in the seeds and genomics segment.  Gross profit for the total company increased 11 percent, and gross profit as a percent of sales improved one percentage point to 45 percent, driven by increases in seeds and traits revenue across all major crops ? particularly corn and soybeans in Latin America and cotton in Australia.   Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses decreased 9 percent for the quarter due largely to the company's restructuring actions in the prior year.  R&D expenses increased 13 percent as the company manages more projects in advanced pipeline phases.  The company's first quarter earnings per share (EPS) was $0.02 on an ongoing basis ($0.01 on an as-reported basis). (For a reconciliation of ongoing EPS, see note 1.)Cash FlowThe first quarter of fiscal 2011 was a significant source of cash.  Free cash flow was $500 million in the quarter compared with a use of cash of $1.6 billion for the same period last year.  This is primarily the result of a timing shift from last year's second quarter into this year's first quarter, as the later harvest in 2009 delayed prepayments in fiscal 2010.  (For a reconciliation of free cash flow, see note 1.)  Net cash provided by operating activities was $624 million, compared to a use of $1.4 billion in the first quarter last year. Net cash required by investing activities for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $124 million, compared with a use of $197 million for the year-ago quarter.  Net cash required by financing activities was $340 million, compared to net cash provided of $102 million for the prior year's first quarter. The company spent $267 million in the first quarter on share repurchases, crossing a quarter of the current $1 billion, three-year authorization.OutlookThe company affirmed its guidance of free cash flow for fiscal year 2011 in the range of $800 million to $900 million, reflecting an investment of $600 to $700 million in capital expenditures.  The company expects net cash provided by operating activities to be $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion, and net cash required by investing activities to be approximately $900 million to $1 billion for fiscal year 2011. (For a reconciliation of free cash flow, see note 1.)  The company confirmed full-year 2011 ongoing earnings per share (EPS) guidance is in the range of $2.72 to $2.82.  Full-year 2011 EPS guidance on an as-reported basis is in the range of $2.69 to $2.79.  (For a reconciliation of EPS, see note 1.)Seeds and Genomics Segment Detail($ in millions)Net SalesGross ProfitSeeds and GenomicsFirst Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010First Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010Corn seed and traits$614$569$339$304Soybean seed and traits226201153139Vegetable seeds183173113112Cotton seed and traits112597433All other crops seeds and traits2829-9TOTAL Seeds and Genomics$1,163$1,031$679$597($ in millions)Earnings (Loss) Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT)Seeds and GenomicsFirst Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010EBIT (For a reconciliation of EBIT, see note 1.)$(20) $(57)Unusual Items Affecting EBIT: Restructuring$(11)$(3)     The Seeds and Genomics segment consists of the company's global seeds and related traits business. Sales for Monsanto's Seeds and Genomics segment increased 13 percent in the first quarter, reflecting increases across the corn, soybean, cotton and vegetable platforms. Corn seed and traits net sales increased 8 percent over last year's quarter.  The primary driver was the company's Latin America seed business, with increased acres in Argentina and the mix benefit from increased overall trait penetration in Brazil.  The company also gained a year-over-year volume increase in the United States as the U.S. order book tracks well with the company's product strategy and acreage targets. Volume increases brought soybean seeds and trait sales up 12 percent compared to last year, and cotton sales saw growth led by an increase in planted acres in Australia.  Vegetable sales were up 6 percent or $10 million. Agricultural Productivity Segment Detail($ in millions)Net SalesGross ProfitAgricultural ProductivityFirst Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010First Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides$523$509$94$87All other agricultural productivity products 1441574555TOTAL Agricultural Productivity$667$666$139$142($ in millions)Earnings Before Interest & Taxes (EBIT)Agricultural ProductivityFirst Quarter 2011First Quarter 2010EBIT (For a reconciliation of EBIT, see note 1.)$60$34Unusual Items Affecting EBIT:      EBIT from Discontinued Operations      Restructuring-$4$5$(11)The Agricultural Productivity segment consists of the crop protection products and lawn-and-garden herbicide products.Sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 for Monsanto's Agricultural Productivity segment remained flat, with sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides tracking well with expectations following last year's strategic repositioning.  Sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides increased 3 percent, reflecting the early Latin American sales-and-application season, leading an increase in volume offset by the lower net selling price.  Webcast InformationIn conjunction with this announcement, Monsanto will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. central time (9:30 a.m. eastern time) today. The call will focus on these results, future expectations and an update of projects within the company's R&D pipeline, including the nine phase advancements. The call also may include a discussion of Monsanto's strategic initiatives, product performance and other matters related to the company's business. Presentation slides and a simultaneous audio webcast of the conference call may be accessed by visiting the company's web site at www.monsanto.com and clicking on "Investor Information." Visitors may need to download Windows Media Player? prior to listening to the webcast. Following the live broadcast, a replay of the webcast will be available on the Monsanto Web site for three weeks. About Monsanto CompanyMonsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MonsantoCo, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed. Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information:Certain statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements," such as statements concerning the company's anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company's exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company's research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company's ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company's facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results. Notes to editors: Genuity, Roundup, Roundup Ready 2 Yield and SmartStax are trademarks of Monsanto Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. References to Roundup herbicides in this release mean Roundup-branded herbicides, excluding lawn-and-garden herbicide products.CONTACTMedia:Kelli Powers  (314-694-4003)Analysts:Bryan Hurley (314-694-8148)Monsanto CompanySelected Financial Information(Dollars in millions, except per share amounts)UnauditedStatements of Consolidated Operations Three Months EndedNov. 30,2010 2009Net Sales$1,830$1,697Cost of Goods Sold 1,012958Gross Profit818739Operating Expenses:   Selling, General and Administrative Expenses450496   Research and Development Expenses 303267Restructuring Charges, Net714Total Operating Expenses760777Income (Loss) From Operations58(38)Interest Expense4339Interest Income(15)(11)Other Expense (Income), Net 12(12)Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Before Income Taxes18(54)Income Tax Provision (Benefit) 6(30)Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest12  $     (24)   Discontinued Operations:Income from Operations of Discontinued Businesses?5Income Tax Provision??Income on Discontinued Operations?5Net Income (Loss)12$     (19)Less: Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest6?Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Monsanto Company6$     (19)EBIT (see note 1)40$    (23)Basic Earnings (Loss) per Share Attributable to Monsanto Company:Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations0.01$    (0.04)Income on Discontinued Operations?0.01Net Income (Loss)0.01$    (0.03)Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share Attributable to Monsanto Company:Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations0.01$    (0.04)Income on Discontinued Operations?0.01Net Income (Loss)0.01$    (0.03)Weighted Average Shares Outstanding:     Basic538.6545.6     Diluted544.5545.6Monsanto CompanySelected Financial Information(Dollars in millions)UnauditedCondensed Statements of Consolidated Financial PositionAs ofAs ofNov. 30, 2010Aug. 31, 2010AssetsCurrent Assets:Cash and Cash Equivalents (variable interest entities restricted ? 2011: $48)$1,732$1,485Trade Receivables, net (variable interest entities restricted ? 2011: $82)1,6981,590Miscellaneous Receivables 739717Deferred Tax Assets455511Inventory, Net3,3312,739Other Current Assets10180Total Current Assets8,0567,122Property, Plant and Equipment, Net4,2224,227Goodwill 3,2293,204Other Intangible Assets, Net1,2411,263Noncurrent Deferred Tax Assets1,0451,014Long-Term Receivables, Net479513Other Assets542524Total Assets$18,814$17,867Liabilities and Shareowners' EquityCurrent Liabilities:Short-Term Debt, Including Current Portion of Long-Term Debt394241Accounts Payable 688752Income Taxes Payable6466Accrued Compensation and Benefits236179Accrued Marketing Programs570839Deferred Revenues1,338219Grower Production Accruals463130Dividends Payable?151Customer Payable283Restructuring Reserves132197Miscellaneous Short-Term Accruals647684Total Current Liabilities4,5343,541Long-Term Debt1,7281,862Postretirement Liabilities947920Long-Term Deferred Revenue401395Noncurrent Deferred Tax Liabilities144137Long-Term Portion of Environmental and Litigation Reserves185188Other Liabilities652681Monsanto Shareowners' Equity 10,07710,099Noncontrolling Interest14644Total Shareowners' Equity10,22310,143Total Liabilities and Shareowners' Equity$18,814$17,867Debt to Capital Ratio:17%17%Monsanto CompanySelected Financial Information(Dollars in millions)UnauditedStatements of Consolidated Cash FlowsThree Months EndedNov. 30,2010 2009 Operating Activities:Net Income (Loss)$12$(19)Adjustments to Reconcile Cash Provided (Required) by Operating Activities:Items That Did Not Require (Provide) Cash:Depreciation and Amortization 155144Bad-Debt Expense(1)14Stock-Based Compensation Expense2724Excess Tax Benefits from Stock-Based Compensation(9)(13)Deferred Income Taxes24(58)Restructuring Charges, Net714Equity Affiliate Income, Net(1)(14)Net Gain on Sales of a Business or Other Assets(1)(1)Other Items1913Changes in Assets and Liabilities that Provided (Required) Cash, Net of Acquisitions:Trade Receivables, Net34(343)Inventory, Net(559)(539)Deferred Revenues1,101126Accounts Payable and Other Accrued Liabilities(130)(573)Restructuring Cash Payments(76)(79)Pension Contributions - (78)Net Investment Hedge Settlement - (4)Other Items22(17)Net Cash Provided (Required) by Operating Activities624(1,403)Cash Flows Required by Investing Activities:Capital Expenditures(125)(192)Acquisitions of Businesses, Net of Cash Acquired - (20)Purchases of Long-Term Equity Securities - (2)Technology and Other Investments(2)(9)Other Investments and Property Disposal Proceeds326Net Cash Required by Investing Activities(124)(197)Cash Flows (Required) Provided by Financing Activities:Net Change in Financing With Less Than 90-Day Maturities72299Short-Term Debt Proceeds1525Short-Term Debt Reductions(16)(29)Long-Term Debt Reductions(1)(1)Payments on Other Financing(2)(1)Treasury Stock Purchases(267)(64)Stock Option Exercises1616Excess Tax Benefits from Stock-Based Compensation913Dividend Payments(151)(145)Dividend Payments to Noncontrolling Interests(15)(11)Net Cash (Required) Provided by Financing Activities(340)102Cash Assumed from Initial Consolidations of Variable Interest Entities77-Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash and Cash Equivalents1013Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents247(1,485)Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Period1,4851,956Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period$1,732$471Monsanto CompanySelected Financial Information(Dollars in millions)Unaudited1. EBIT, Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow:  The presentations of EBIT, ongoing EPS and free cash flow are not intended to replace net income (loss) attributable to Monsanto Company, cash flows, financial position or comprehensive income (loss), and they are not measures of financial performance as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States. The following tables reconcile EBIT, ongoing EPS and free cash flow to the respective most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliation of EBIT to Net Income (Loss):  EBIT is defined as earnings (loss) before interest and taxes. Earnings (loss) is intended to mean net income (loss) attributable to Monsanto Company as presented in the Statements of Consolidated Operations under GAAP. The following table reconciles EBIT to the most directly comparable financial measure, which is net income (loss).  Three Months EndedNov. 30,20102009EBIT ? Seeds and Genomics Segment $(20)$(57)EBIT ? Agricultural Productivity Segment6034EBIT? Total 40(23)Interest Expense, Net2828Income Tax Provision (Benefit)(A)6(32)Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Monsanto Company$6$(19)(A)Includes the income tax benefit from continuing operations and the income tax provision (benefit) on noncontrolling interest.Reconciliation of EPS to Ongoing EPS:  Ongoing EPS is calculated excluding certain after-tax items which Monsanto does not consider part of ongoing operations.Fiscal Year2011GuidanceThree monthsendedNov. 30, 2010Diluted Earnings per Share$2.69-$2.79$0.01Restructuring Charges$0.03$0.01Income on Discontinued Operations??Diluted Earnings per Share from Ongoing Business$2.72-$2.82$0.02Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow: Free cash flow represents the total of cash flows from operating activities and investing activities, as reflected in the Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows presented in this release. With respect to the fiscal year 2011 free cash flow target, Monsanto does not include any estimates or projections of Net Cash Provided (Required) by Financing Activities because in order to prepare any such estimate or projection, Monsanto would need to rely on market factors and conditions that are outside of its control.Fiscal Year2011GuidanceThree Months EndedNov. 30, 2010 2009 Net Cash Provided (Required) by Operating Activities$1,700-1,900$624$(1,403)Net Cash Required by Investing Activities (900)-(1,000)(124)(197)Free Cash Flow$800-900500(1,600)Net Cash (Required) Provided by Financing ActivitiesN/A(340)102Cash Assumed from Initial Consolidations of Variable    Interest EntitiesN/A77-Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash and Cash    EquivalentsN/A1013Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash        EquivalentsN/A247(1,485)Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of PeriodN/A1,4851,956Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of PeriodN/A$1,732$471SOURCE Monsanto CompanyFor further information: Media, Kelli Powers, +1-314-694-4003, or Analysts, Bryan Hurley, +1-314-694-8148, both of Monsanto