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Monsanto Takes Targets Higher

The company cites continued strength in seeds and herbicides.
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Monsanto (MON) again increased its fiscal-year profit forecast, citing ongoing strength in its seed and herbicide businesses.

The St. Louis company, which has been riding high on demand for its agricultural products, now expects earnings of $2.70 to $2.80 a share for the year ending in August.

Just last month, Monsanto had raised its forecast to $2.50 to $2.60 a share from a prior view of $2.20 to $2.40. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial currently have an average estimate for earnings of $2.81 a share.

The company, which gave its new guidance ahead of an investor conference Tuesday, said that growing adoption of corn and soybean products in the U.S. and Latin America is propelling its business. Monsanto said it has seen strong early-season order patterns for its U.S. corn seed and traits business.

In addition, Monsanto said its Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicide businesses is seeing increased volumes and prices, and could deliver $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion of gross profit in fiscal 2008.

Shares of Monsanto were climbing $2.97, or 2.6%, to $117 in early trading Tuesday.

This article was written by a staff member of