Monsanto expects to double gross profit over next five years
ST. LOUIS, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) expects to double the gross profit potential of its business from the end of 2007 through 2012, officials will
tell investors today. The company’s growth is expected to result in an ongoing earnings per share (EPS) growth rate in the mid-to-high teens over the next five years.
Monsanto’s management team also will note that, by the end of 2012, the free cash flow generation of its business, exclusive of potential acquisitions, will be in the range of $2 billion to
$2.2 billion. This growth is expected to provide its business with greater flexibility for additional acquisitions, technology investments, dividends and share repurchases.
Monsanto executives will provide an overview of its five-year growth plan as part of the company’s biennial U.S. Investor Day meeting held in St. Louis. The event will include presentations by
Hugh Grant, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Robb Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer; Brett Begemann, executive vice president; Carl Casale, executive
vice president; and Terry Crews, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
‘Backed by the growing demand for our seed and trait products, our business is poised for significant organic growth between now and the end of 2012,’ said Grant. ‘We believe we can effectively
double the gross profit potential of our business just with the businesses we have in hand today while continuing to return value to our shareowners.’
As part of the event, Monsanto executives will discuss how Monsanto’s seeds and traits business is expected to be shaped by six key factors over the next five years. These factors include: its
U.S. and international corn seeds and traits business; its soybean business; its cotton business; its Seminis fruit and vegetable seed business; and its R&D pipeline. Within these factors,
the company expects:
— U.S. and international corn seed businesses will continue to be significant catalysts for growth. Monsanto expects that share for its DEKALB brand could grow by as much as 10 percentage
points in the United States through 2012. In key international markets, the company expects to realize annual gains of 1-to-2 percentage points in most regions through 2012.
— Global corn traits business is poised for expanded growth from continued adoption of current and future stacked trait offerings. By 2010, Monsanto expects to introduce its SmartStax product.
This product is expected to expand the gross margin potential of its traits business and access an opportunity of 90 million to 108 million acres worldwide. This product will also serve as a
platform for future corn trait offerings like drought-tolerance and nitrogen-utilization beyond 2012.
— Soybean business is on track for a one million to two million acre controlled commercial release of its Roundup RReady2Yield technology in 2009, with a full-scale launch of five million to
six million acres in 2010. The introduction of Roundup RReady2Yield soybeans will serve as the platform for up to five new stacked trait offerings in soybeans by 2012.
— Cotton business remains focused on converting the Delta and Pine Land portfolio to its double stack of second-generation technologies. By 2012, pending regulatory approvals, the company
believes this business will be selling stacked, second-generation offerings in both its India and U.S. cotton business, effectively doubling the gross profit contribution of this business.
— Seminis business has the potential to expand its margins from 44 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 65 percent by the end of 2012. The company believes its fruit and vegetable business can
realize a compound annual growth rate for sales of six percent based on a stronger product mix, new and improved product offerings and pricing approaches more in line with the value the
— R&D pipeline is poised to deliver multiple projects that offer a high gross sales opportunity leading up to 2012 and beyond. By 2020, Monsanto believes that its pipeline will create an
additional $5 billion in gross sales at the farmgate, of which more than three-quarters of this value is incremental. Between now and 2020, Monsanto expects to introduce six blockbuster
projects with an estimated gross sales opportunity of $300 million to $500 million as well as one mega-blockbuster project with an estimated gross sales opportunity of more than $1
billion.’While we’ve historically talked a lot about the products we’re delivering, we’re now focused on the platforms that our business is poised to deliver between now and the end of 2012,’
said Grant. ‘We believe these platforms, like SmartStax in corn and Roundup RReady2Yield in soybeans, have the potential to effectively change the competitive dynamics within the agriculture
industry and pave the way for farmers to get more benefit out of every seed.’
Monsanto Leaders Increase Guidance for Fiscal Year 2008
As part of the event, Monsanto’s Crews will announce that the company expects its first quarter 2008 EPS to be approximately 35 cents, or more than double the 16 cents the company realized in
the first quarter of fiscal year 2007. As a result of the strong quarter, the company will announce that its full-year 2008 EPS guidance, both on a reported and ongoing basis, has changed to
the upper end of its previously announced range of $2.20 to $2.40.
Crews will also note that Monsanto’s guidance for free cash flow for fiscal year 2008 will remain in the range of $800 million to $900 million. The company expects net cash provided by
operating activities to be in the range of $1.75 billion to $1.85 billion, and net cash required by investing activities to be approximately $950 million for fiscal year 2008.