Monsanto Executives Detail Drivers of Company's Growth; Industry's Yield Leader Delivers Winning Harvest Results


Comprehensive 2011 harvest data shows Monsanto extended yield advantage over competitors with record performance in core crops; Company reaffirms 2012 financial guidance

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant today will detail the company's strategic path to deliver mid-teens earnings for 2012 and set up continued growth going forward, explaining to investors how the company's next growth phase in agriculture reflects Monsanto's preeminence as a yield company. 

During Monsanto's Biennial Investor Day at its Chesterfield research facility, executives also will confirm the company's fiscal year 2012 guidance, guiding to high end of its first quarter range, and present comprehensive 2011 harvest data that validates once again Monsanto's record as the industry's yield leader.

"Our commitment to delivering yield for farmers around the world is clear in our 2011 results and in our continued investment in technology that produce the high-performing products that set us apart as the industry leader," Grant said.

During the event Monsanto executives will present details on the four key strategic elements the organization will focus on over the next several years to deliver growth:

  • The ability to continually discover, develop and deliver products that matter to farmers, which are the standard for customer expectations for traits and performance and represent the only integrated business platform across row crops and vegetables.
  • Expanding Monsanto's scale across both crop platforms and geographies to capture growth opportunities on an increasingly global scale.
  • Leveraging the size and scope of Monsanto's industry-leading research and development efforts through the convergence of breeding and biotechnology.
  • The company's continued financial discipline, which is expected to fuel its strategic growth engine.  

Harvest Results Show Monsanto's Products Continue to Deliver Against Competitors
The company's early and significant investment in both breeding and biotechnology has given it a sustained edge that's played out on the farm, Grant said.  Monsanto has furthered its yield advantages over competitors according to the latest U.S. harvest results. 

  • In U.S. corn, DEKALB® germplasm extended its historical advantage relative to competitive products, reinforcing Monsanto's long standing yield advantage.  In 2011, DEKALB germplasm outperformed all competitors with an average 11.2 bushels per-acre advantage, as the benefits of Monsanto's germplasm provided differentiated performance amidst difficult and variable growing conditions.  
  • In its second season, Genuity® SmartStax® corn proved its next-generation hybrids deliver yield, outperforming competitor triple stacks by an average 3.8 bushels per acre advantage.  In areas with heavy insect pressure, the comprehensive insect protection of SmartStax® was reflected with an average 8.5 bushels per acre advantage.  
  • Genuity® VT Triple PRO® corn once again delivered strong results, with a yield advantage of 11.3 bushels per acre on average over competitor triple stacks, proof the company's southern corn breeding investments are delivering results on the farm. Like the other products in the reduced refuge family, Genuity® VT Triple PRO® shows an even stronger advantage in the cotton belt through reduced refuge that brings an average incremental three to six bushels.
  • Genuity® VT Double PRO® corn has demonstrated a side-by-side average yield advantage of 6.6 bushels per acre versus competitors, with the reduced refuge benefits delivering an additional whole acre yield of more than 8 bushels on average, a real advantage for farmers in the western corn belt.

In soybeans, the company cited the strong yield performance of Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, now in its third year of deployment.  Top-performing Roundup Ready 2 Yield® products extended their yield advantage to an average of 4.2 bushels per acre versus competitive soybeans with the Roundup Ready® trait, even as overall soybean yields are expected to be more variable in 2011.  The strong performance reflects the growth in availability of varieties as Monsanto has built out its portfolio since introduction.  In 2012, the company expects to ramp up the number of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® varieties to more than 300 and reach its projected 27 million to 30 million acres.

Yield Opportunity Reflected in Fiscal Year 2012 Mid-Teens Outlook
Looking at growth opportunities by region, the company expects international markets to represent a significant percentage of its growth, driven by the ascension of Latin America.  Growth in the U.S. market is expected to come from upgrades in germplasm and traits and increased volume as Monsanto expands its Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® platform in soybeans and Genuity® reduced refuge family in corn.

The company reaffirmed its earnings per share guidance of $3.34 to $3.44 for fiscal year 2012, when top-line growth is expected to come from seeds and traits as the business continues to benefit from mix upgrades and diversification geographically and across crops.  The company also guided to the high end of its first quarter earnings forecast of $0.10 to $0.15 per share, reflecting the performance of the early Latin American planting season, where increased acres and broad business growth underscore the opportunity in this region.  (For a reconciliation of earnings per share, see note 1.) 

The company continues to project free cash flow in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2012.  The company expects net cash provided by operating activities to be $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion, and net cash required by investing activities to be approximately $900 million to $1 billion for fiscal year 2012.  (For a reconciliation of free cash flow, see note 1.)

Investor Meeting Webcast and Materials
A live webcast of Monsanto's investor briefing is available through Monsanto's web site at: Materials related to today's event posted at this site include: the presentation agenda, briefing slides and speaker bios. Following the live broadcast, a replay of the webcast will be available on the Monsanto web site for three weeks. To access presentation slides and the simultaneous audio webcast of the presentation, visitors may need to download Windows Media Player™ prior to listening to the webcast.

About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: Follow our business on Twitter® at, on Facebook® at, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
Certain statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements," such as statements concerning the company's anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company's exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company's research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits and the previously-announced SEC investigation; the previously reported material weakness in our internal controls over financial reporting; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company's ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company's facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.

Notes to editors: Monsanto and the Vine Design, DEKALB, Genuity, SmartStax, VT Triple PRO, VT Double PRO, Roundup Ready and Roundup Ready 2 Yield are trademarks of Monsanto Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Monsanto Company 
Selected Financial Information 
(Dollars in millions) 
1. Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow:  The presentations of ongoing EPS and free cash flow are not intended to replace net income (loss) attributable to Monsanto Company, cash flows, financial position or comprehensive income (loss), and they are not measures of financial performance as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States. The following tables reconcile ongoing EPS and free cash flow to the respective most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP.

Reconciliation of EPS to Ongoing EPS:  Ongoing EPS is calculated excluding certain after-tax items which Monsanto does not consider part of ongoing operations.Copyright 2011 Monsanto All Rights Reserved  

   Fiscal Year  Fiscal Year
   2012   First Quarter
   Guidance  Guidance
 Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share  $3.34-$3.44  $0.10-$0.15
 Restructuring Charges, Net    
 Income on Discontinued Operations    
 Diluted Earnings (Loss) per Share from    
Ongoing Business $3.34-$3.44 $0.10-$0.15

 Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow: Free cash flow represents the total of cash flows from operating activities and investing activities, as reflected in the Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows presented in this release. With respect to the fiscal year 2012 free cash flow guidance, Monsanto does not include any estimates or projections of Net Cash Provided (Required) by Financing Activities because in order to prepare any such estimate or projection, Monsanto would need to rely on market factors and conditions that are outside of its control.

 Fiscal Year
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities  $ 2,200-2,500
Net Cash Required by Investing Activities (900)-(1,000)
Free Cash Flow $ 1,300-1,500
Net Cash Required by Financing Activities N/A
Cash Assumed from Initial Consolidations of Variable Interest Entities N/A
Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash and Cash Equivalents N/A
Net Increase in Cash and Cash Equivalents N/A
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Period N/A
Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period N/A

Copyright 2011 Monsanto All Rights Reserved