Long-Term Agricultural Trends And Expanding Business Opportunities Drive Monsanto's Confidence In Global Growth Company Reaffirms Earnings and Cash Flow Guidance, Highlights Growth Opportunities at Sixth Whistle Stop Event

MONMOUTH, Ill., Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. 

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto 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/MonsantoNews, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at www.monsantoblog.com, 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 and the previously-announced SEC investigation; the previously reported material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting; 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.

 

Contact

Media: Kelli Powers (314-694-4003)

 

Monsanto Company

Selected Financial Information

(Dollars in millions)

Unaudited


1. Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow: The presentations of 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 ongoing EPS and free cash flow to the respective most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP.


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 Year


2012


Guidance

Diluted Earnings per Share

$3.73-$3.78

Restructuring Charges, Net

Income on Discontinued Operations

(0.01)

Nitro Claims Settlement

0.05

Resolution of a Legacy Tax Matter

(0.12)

Diluted Earnings per Share from Ongoing Business

$3.65-$3.70

 

Reconciliation 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. With respect to the fiscal year 2012 free cash flow guidance, 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 Year


2012


Guidance

Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities

$

2,700-2,900

Net Cash Required by Investing Activities


(1,000)-(1,100)

Free Cash Flow

$

1,700-1,800

Net Cash Required by Financing Activities


N/A

Cash Assumed from Initial Consolidations of Variable Interest Entities


N/A

Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash and Cash Equivalents


N/A

Net Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents


N/A

Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Period


N/A

Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period


N/A

 

 

SOURCE Monsanto Company



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