Monsanto Q2 Earnings, Revenues Miss On Headwind Woes

Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report) reported weak results for second quarter of fiscal 2015 (ended Feb 28, 2015). Cyclical fluctuations of the agricultural industry, strengthening of U.S. dollar and lower U.S. corn production were mainly responsible for the poor results.  

The company reported adjusted earnings of $2.90 per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.96 per share.

Monsanto Company - Earnings Surprise | FindTheCompany

The bottom-line also missed the year-ago tally of $3.15 by 7.9%.

Revenues

Monsanto generated revenues of $5,197 million in the quarter, down 10.9% from $5,832 million recorded in the year-ago quarter and lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,758 million.

On a segmental basis, revenues from Seeds and Genomics decreased 10.1% year over year to $4,178 million. Gains reaped from the Soybean seed and traits business were more than offset by weak performance in Cord seed and traits, Cotton seed and traits, Vegetable seeds and Other businesses.

Revenues from Agricultural Productivity decreased 13.9% year over year to $1,019 million. The top-line decline was mainly triggered by a fall in price of generic glyphosate and currency headwinds.

Cost & Margins

Monsanto’s cost of sales fell 9.5% year over year, representing 41.5% of total revenue versus 40.9% in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin inched down 60 basis points to 58.5%.

Operating expenses were recorded at $1,019 million, down 1% from the year-ago quarter, reflecting 19.6% of total revenue. Interest expense stood at $92 million as against $40 million recorded in the year-ago comparable period.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow

Exiting fiscal second-quarter 2015, Monsanto’s cash and cash equivalents increased to $2.732 billion from $2.367 billion at the end of fiscal fourth-quarter 2014. Long-term debt in the quarter was $7.9 billion, up 4.9% from the end of fiscal 2014.

In the first half of fiscal 2015, Monsanto generated cash of $1,518 million from its operating activities, down from $1,846 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. Capital spending rose 8.5% year over year to $511.0 million. Dividend payments in the first half totaled $475 million.

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