NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lennar (LEN) and Monsanto (MON) rose in early trading on Wednesday after both companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results -- but only one of them sustained any of those gains into the afternoon.
Lennar, the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder, reported a 32% rise in revenues in its second quarter. Lennar said earnings rose to $183 million or $0.79 a share, on revenue of about $2.4 billion. That topped analysts' expectations for earnings of $0.64 a share on $2 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said in a statement, "The homebuilding market continued its steady improvement throughout our second quarter. Driven by higher wages and employment, reasonable affordability levels, supply shortages and favorable monthly payment comparisons to rentals, the homebuilding market is well positioned for multi-year growth ahead."
Lennar's shares spiked early, then moderated back down, but were still up about 4% in early afternoon trading.
Elsewhere, agriculture giant Monsanto reported earnings that rose to about $1.1 billion, or $2.39 a share, topping analysts' expectations for earnings of $2.07 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. However, revenue, which climbed to about $4.5 billion, still fell short of estimates of about $4.6 billion. The company reaffirmed its full-year guidance, but Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant noted the ongoing challenges faced by the world's food supply and the company.
"The challenges facing the world's food supply continue to evolve," said Grant. "The growing population, along with our volatile and changing climate, place ever-increasing burdens on sustainable global food production. Equipping farmers with the right set of innovations that will help solve tomorrow's food challenges today requires more than a new company -- it requires a new vision and approach. Our proposal to combine with Syngenta (SYT) is an exciting logical next step for our business, offering the opportunity to accelerate innovation and support a more diverse group of farmers around the world."
Syngenta has rejected a $45 billion takeover offer from Monsanto.
Those challenges apparently weighed on the minds of traders. By early afternoon, Monsanto shares had given back their early gains and were down about 4.5% on the day.