Monsanto Co., St. Louis, said its second-quarter profit more than doubled, reflecting fewer restructuring charges and growth in its seeds business. The company said net income jumped to $373 million, or $1.37 per share, in the three months ended Feb. 28. That compares with $154 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings from continuing operations were $371 million, or $1.36 per share, in the December-February quarter. The company said profits were lowered by about 2 cents per share because of restructuring charges, compared with year-ago charges of 12 cents per share.

Revenue grew 27 percent to $1.91 billion from $1.5 billion, driven by higher corn and soybean trait revenue in the United States, increased corn seed sales domestically and in the Europe-Africa region, and higher revenue for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides in all major world areas.

Hugh Grant, Monsanto's chairman, president and chief executive, said the second quarter is the company's key three-month stretch in what he termed the unfolding "breakout year that we're having in seeds and traits."

Monsanto's genetically engineered seed sales are booming, and the company expects the growth to continue as it expands outside the United States.
he company's prospects also reflect a recent shopping spree, including the purchase of Seminis Inc. -- the world's largest developer, grower and marketer of fruit and vegetable seeds -- and Emergent Genetics' cotton business to feed Monsanto's product pipeline.

For the first half of 2005, Monsanto said it earned $333 million, or $1.23 per share, on $2.99 billion in sales, compared with profit of $57 million, or 21 cents per share, on sales of $2.52 billion for the same period in 2004.

Monsanto credited the improved showing over the first six months, among other things, to better U.S. corn and soybean trait revenues, improved corn seed sales domestically and in Europe and Africa, and higher sales of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides outside the United States.

Source: Yahoo News