Company Reaffirms Earnings and Cash Flow Guidance, Highlights Growth Opportunities at Sixth Whistle Stop Event
Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today brought its technologies to life during its sixth Whistle Stop field event for investors at the company's 480-acre Monmouth Learning and Agronomy Center, the largest research farm in North America. Highlighting the growth drivers for the company, executives visited with investors as they toured plots representing the future of agriculture and Monsanto demonstrated both business catalysts and emerging pipeline projects from around the world.
"Demand for greater yield is growing globally, and we're a yield company," said Hugh Grant, Monsanto Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We have the technologies in our pipeline to continually deliver yield to our farmer customers. We work to innovate faster on more fronts and take that innovation to markets where it creates value more quickly than anyone else."
Monsanto: A Yield Company in Growth Mode with Global Opportunity
Monsanto's growth opportunity over the next few years is divided roughly equally between its United States and international businesses, Grant said, and today the company represents a diversified and balanced business.
The continued expansion of Monsanto's base business in its largest geographic region, the United States, underpins that opportunity. Building on strong sales momentum, Monsanto's U.S. business reflects the mix benefit and volume growth as its key platforms expand and it upgrades its product portfolio with new, higher-yielding products for its customers.
The company also has significant layers of growth opportunities coming from more geographies than ever in its history, with key growth markets Argentina and Brazil serving as focus areas during the field tours. Latin America has been a significant growth driver for the company, particularly in corn with strong continued performance in Brazil based on an increase of total acres, mix improvement and sales. Argentina holds continued opportunity as growers upgrade to triple stacks in corn.
In soybeans, the introduction of Intacta RR2 PROTM through trials in Brazil earlier this fiscal year was a major strategic milestone and represents one of the most significant single drivers as the product ramps up in coming years. With Brazilian farmers seeing significant yield benefits from Intacta RR2 PROTM in Ground BreakersSM trials this year, the company looks to bring the product to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay in coming years.
New Pipeline Growth Layers Expected to Help Sustain Momentum
Monsanto also highlighted emerging platforms of its pipeline, including Integrated Farming SystemsSM and its work in biologicals, which was introduced earlier this year with BioDirectTM technology. BioDirectTM technology brings Monsanto's expertise in plant genomics to chemistry for the first time, enabling products that could provide new options for sustainable pest or virus control. BioDirectTM technologies eventually could be used to identify new opportunities for current herbicides, create better insect control options, and offer new virus-control tools.
Monsanto's Integrated Farming SystemsSM platform, which is expected to be featured at the Farm Progress show later this month, combines science-based agronomic seed prescriptions with next-generation precision equipment to help farmers boost yields and reduce risk.
"We strive to provide the best package to drive yield for farmers, and I believe we're better positioned than anyone to do this," Grant said. "Whether it's through breeding, biotechnology or new platforms like Integrated Farming SystemsSM and biologicals, our technology prowess is a distinct advantage for Monsanto and our customers."
Monsanto Reaffirms Fiscal Year 2012 Guidance and Growth for Fiscal 2013
The company confirmed 2012 earnings per share guidance in the range of $3.65 to $3.70 on an ongoing basis and $3.73 to $3.78 on an as-reported basis, with mid-teens ongoing earnings growth for fiscal year 2013 projected from the base of $3.65 to $3.70. (For a reconciliation of ongoing EPS, see note 1.) The company also reaffirmed its full-year free cash flow guidance for fiscal year 2012 in the range of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion. The company expects net cash provided by operating activities to be $2.7 billion to $2.9 billion, and net cash required by investing activities to be $1 billion to $1.1 billion for fiscal year 2012. (For a reconciliation of free cash flow, see note 1.)
Investor Event Materials
Materials related to this investor briefing are available on the company's web site at http://www.monsanto.com/investors. These materials include: a comprehensive guide that provides an overview of the projects featured as part of the investor field event and presentations by Monsanto executives.
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