(By Balachander) Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) posted a jump in first-quarter earnings and sales with strong contribution from the corn seed and traits business and the company lifted its forecast for the full year.
Shares gained 3.28 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday following the announcement.
On an ongoing basis, earnings per share (EPS) more than doubled to 62 cents from 23 cents versus market expectations of 37 cents for the first quarter.
Net earnings attributable to Monsanto also surged to $339 million from $126 million.
Sales jumped 20.5 percent to $2.94 billion, breezing past Wall Street projections of a growth of 8.30 percent. TOTAL Seeds and Genomics sales rose 14.4 percent.
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Segment wise, sales of corn seed and traits climbed 27 percent, offsetting declines in other segments.
Operating expenses increased 4.3 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year 2013, the provider of agricultural products expects ongoing earnings per share in the range of $4.30 to $4.40 per share, up from prior view of $4.18 to $4.32, yet coming in below consensus estimate of $4.43.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range of $69.70 to $96.71, closed Monday's regular trading at $95.94.