Analysts and portfolio managers will likely grill executives -- especially Monsanto's Scotsman CEO Hugh Grant -- about the performance of the company's new corn seed, planted commercially for the first time this year, called SmartStax. Billed as an upgrade, a kind of corn 2.0, SmartStax replaced an earlier version, called TripleGuard, and represented Monsanto's greatest hope for fueling future profit growth.
Much to Monsanto's chagrin, however, early results from this harvest season indicate that the bioengineered plants that have bloomed from those seeds haven't been as prodigious with maize as other brands, or even the older Monsanto seeds. Investors have lambasted Monsanto shares, taking them lower by 10% in September alone. The stock has lost about 41% of its value during 2010."This will be the first time management has had an opportunity to address the public on the issue," noted Colin Isaac, an analyst at Atlantic Equities, a research house that advises institutional investors. "Maybe they'll have something to say to contradict the negative sentiment." The St. Louis company already pre-announced fourth-quarter earnings in late August -- forecasting a range between $2.40 and $2.45 a share for the fiscal year 2010, which ended Aug. 31 -- so there's little contention surrounding the financial results it will report before the bell Wednesday, especially since the quarter is a seasonally slow one to begin with. All eyes will be focused, therefore, on what Monsanto has to say about 2011. The yields produced by SmartStax during the harvest this fall will impact next year's business, after all, serving either to bolster the company's corn-seed marketing or torpedo it. Most analysts have trimmed their estimates for 2011 SmartStax sales volumes, which are measured in the number of acres planted with a crop seed.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV