Monsanto Company is focused on delivering its guidance commitments as it executes in a pivotal year in its growth plan, Chief Financial Officer Carl Casale will tell investors tomorrow at the Morgan Stanley Basic Materials conference.
With a practical operating plan in place, Casale will reiterate the company's continued expectation that full-year ongoing 2010 earnings per share will be in the range of $3.10 to $3.30. The company now expects approximately 50 percent of the full-year guidance to be realized in the company's second quarter, reflecting potential timing shifts into the company's second half. This is related to the effect of the late 2009 harvest on soybean shipments, increasing contribution from international corn in the company's overall earnings mix and a return to historic seasonality in earnings of the Roundup® and other agricultural herbicides business. Monsanto's full-year 2010 EPS guidance on an as-reported basis is in the range of $2.85 to $3.11. (For a reconciliation of 2010 EPS, see note 1.)
Casale will outline the key success measures for 2010. Notably, Casale will indicate the company's ability to deliver its earnings commitments in a year where the company is launching two game-changing new products, resetting its Roundup® herbicide business, and implementing a restructuring plan to solidify operational leverage to create the right platform for growth going forward.
"If we achieve these three things, then this year will be a success in providing firm footing for our path to 2012," Casale will say. "We're not playing for 2010 alone, but we recognize that the work we do in 2010 sets up the opportunity through 2012."
Casale also will say the company is on track to deliver on its projected restructuring savings. Those savings create operating leverage that complements the company's operating plan and financial outlook in 2010, building on a disciplined approach to selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses to create sustainable structural benefits in the business.
"We knew 2010 would be the toughest year in our plan, but we are committed to establishing a successful platform for the remainder of our plan," Casale will say. "This year has seen two of the largest product launches in our history on top of a significant restructuring, and I remain confident that we will learn and adjust and build on the momentum over the next two years."
Genuity™ SmartStax™ corn and Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® represent the largest broad-acre introductions of new traited seed products in the history of the industry, and Monsanto is committed to ensuring the product performance and customer experience in 2010 supports the growth in both platforms going forward. With widespread availability in 2010, Monsanto projects that a broad base of farmers will have the opportunity to experience both Genuity™ SmartStax™ and Genuity™ Roundup Ready 2 Yield® on their farm, which will support significant adoption in 2011 and 2012.
Monsanto will provide a full business update on the U.S. season as a part of its second-quarter earnings report, April 7.
A live webcast of Casale's presentation will be available through Monsanto's web site at: Chttp://www.monsanto.com/investors. Following tomorrow'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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