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Updated from 10:07 a.m. EDT



on Wednesday reported surging fiscal second-quarter profits on the back of strong demand for its corn seed products in the U.S. and Brazil.

Shares were falling 3% to $109.39, however, as the company's full-year outlook appeared a bit light.

The agricultural giant posted net sales of $3.78 billion, a 45% jump from the $2.61 billion it reported in the second fiscal quarter last year. Net income came in at $1.13 billion, or $2.02 a diluted share, vs. $543 million, or 98 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, the company posted a profit of $1.79 a share from ongoing operations, vs. 99 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected a profit of $1.72 a share on revenue of $3.6 billion.

"The performance of our seeds and traits business has us on track for another exceptional year and well positioned to support our five-year strategic growth plan," Chairman, President and CEO Hugh Grant said in a company statement.

"Between now and 2012, we are the only agriculture company that can point to consistent growth irrespective of commodity price swings, fluctuations in planted acres or the popularity of ethanol," he continued. "Over the next five years we're poised to set the bar higher as we deliver a game changing platform every other year, real products that create real value for the farmer and for our shareowners."

The low end of Monsanto's full-year guidance, however, fell below Wall Street's expectations for the full year. The company sees earnings of between $3.38 a share and $3.48 a share on a reported basis and between $3.15 a share and $3.25 a share on an ongoing basis. Analysts see earnings of $3.20 a share.

But the company said it is poised to effectively double the gross profit potential of its business between 2007 and the end of 2012.

In a separate announcement, Monsanto said it would invest $196 million over the next 18 months to expand its glyphosate manufacturing facility in Luling, La. The investment is expected to allow the company to increase its production of Roundup and other herbicides by 20% when the project is complete.

The Street also had tempered expectations for Monsanto's competitors in the near term. Citi analyst Brian Yu said in a note after Tuesday's bell that fertilizer maker



could miss fiscal third-quarter profit targets due to an Agriculture Department report that showed farmers are planting less corn. The stock was falling 1.1% to $100.35 in recent premarket action.

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This article was written by a staff member of