projected strong third-quarter results and lifted its full-year guidance, noting strength across its agriculture business.

The seed and herbicide giant said Friday that it expects earnings of $1 a share for its recently ended third quarter. That would handily top analysts' average estimate of 76 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

For the full fiscal year, St. Louis-based Monsanto sees earnings of $1.75 to $1.80 a share, up from its already raised prior guidance of $1.60 to $1.65. Wall Street predicts full-year earnings of $1.69 a share.

The company said it had a strong ending to the corn planting season in the U.S., reflecting continued adoption of its corn seeds and traits business. Monsanto has seen a big boost in corn-related demand over the past year as corn-based ethanol gains favor.

Moreover, Monsanto said it had strong results from its herbicide business, with significant early-season purchases of its Roundup products. Additionally, the company said a better-than-expected tax rate will add about 5 cents a share to third-quarter results.

Monsanto will report its full third-quarter results on June 28.

Shares were up $2.68, or 4.23%, to $65.99 in morning trading.