Monsanto

(MON)

shares rose Wednesday after the agricultural products company doubled its second-quarter profit, beating earnings estimates, as it continues its comeback.

The St. Louis-based company posted net income of $373 million, or $1.37 a share, compared with $154 million, or 57 cents a share, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2004. Analysts expected $1.28 a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue increased 27% to $1.9 billion, primarily because of higher corn and soybean trait revenue in the U.S., increased corn seed sales in the U.S. and the Europe-Africa region, and higher revenue for Roundup and other herbicides in all major world areas.

"The second quarter is the most important single quarter in our fiscal year," the company said. "We believe the strong results this quarter, and so far this year, emphasize both the value of our leadership position in the seeds and traits market, and the continued opportunity we see as the momentum in our seeds and traits business helps propel our overall business growth."

Monsanto also raised full-year guidance, calling for EPS -- on an ongoing business basis -- of $2.00 to $2.05. Previously, Monsanto saw earnings at the upper end of a $1.85-to-$2.00 range. The consensus forecast is $2.10 a share.

Shares rose 25 cents, or 0.4%, to $61.40 in premarket trading, having doubled in the past 52 weeks.