Its enhanced corn strategy in the United States and increased share in Latin America illustrate Monsanto Company's (NYSE: MON) growth potential, Brett Begemann, executive vice president – Seeds & Traits, will tell investors today at BMO Capital Markets 2010 Agricultural Protein & Fertilizer Conference in New York.
Developing and deploying best-in-class seeds and traits that return value to farmers is what Monsanto does best, Begemann will say, and is the driver of the company's expected mid-teens earnings per share growth opportunity beginning in 2011.
"Our core seeds and traits strategy has not changed," Begemann will say. "True innovation on farm and great products are what Monsanto has always delivered and will continue to deliver in the years to come. I'm more confident than ever in this business because we have made the necessary tactical adjustments to provide greater certainty in achieving that strategic objective."
Citing a robust product strategy expected to deliver unit volume growth and improved average gross-profit per acre in its U.S. branded corn portfolio in 2011, Begemann will say the company is well-positioned with its most robust product line-up ever, a customer-centric strategy and market research that supports its plan.
Begemann will announce recent share gains in Latin America, despite a decline in overall acres. Nearly 65 percent of the corn Monsanto sold in Argentina was a double-stack, which drove a one-point share gain. In Brazil, Monsanto sold five million acres of its YieldGard® Corn Borer, which helped the company realize a three point share gain.
Begemann will say recently concluded market research indicates that for a majority of U.S. farmers, Monsanto's reduced-refuge family of corn traits products creates a compelling opportunity for conversion and adoption while the company's top-performing product portfolio creates more choices for farmers.
"The data is clear – when you offer innovative, higher-yielding technology at a compelling price, farmers see the value," Begemann will say, adding that Monsanto will maximize its customer-focused approach by looking at pricing as a tool to deliver a value proposition that makes it easier for farmers to adopt and gain experience with new technologies.
Genuity® SmartStax™ remains the anchor for the enhanced product portfolio for the 40 million to 50 million acres in the highest-yielding region of the core Corn Belt. Monsanto's pilot program with Genuity® VT Double PRO™ proved successful for U.S. corn farmers in geographies with less productive soils and in environments with low rootworm pressure. The first double stack product on the market to include a reduced-refuge option at 5 percent in the Corn Belt, Genuity® VT Double PRO™ rounds out a U.S. portfolio that also includes the company's successful second-generation triple-stack corn, Genuity® VT Triple PRO™. Genuity® VT Triple PRO™ offers a lower refuge option of 20 percent in the cotton-growing regions in the South.
"What we learned with both our doubles and triples last year was that this family of reduced-refuge products is tremendously appealing to U.S. corn farmers when we demonstrate the value proposition," Begemann will say. "We expect to effectively execute this new approach to deliver these products to farmers, and in doing so earn volume growth and increase gross profit per acre for farmers and Monsanto."
Discussing Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean seeds, Begemann will note the company achieved broad trial with more than 40 percent of branded customers trying the product this year. With the 2010 portfolio including new, high-performing Class of '10 varieties that represent 70 percent of the company's branded varieties, Begemann will say Monsanto continues to offer a better match for various growing conditions.
A live webcast of Begemann's presentation will be available through Monsanto's web site at: http://www.monsanto.com/investors. Following today's live broadcast set for 11:45 a.m. C.T., a replay of the webcast will be available on the Monsanto web site for three weeks. To access presentation slides and the simultaneous audio webcast of the presentation, visitors may need to download Windows Media Player™ prior to listening to the webcast.
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