ST. LOUIS -- Looking at its second quarter results and competitive dynamics in the marketplace, Monsanto Company today said it expects to emerge from 2010 in a position to generate annual earnings growth percentages in the mid-teens. As part of its earnings results for the quarter ending Feb. 28, 2010, the company discussed performance against projections in both the seeds and traits and agricultural productivity segments during a year of intense competitive pressure for both sides of the business. While recommitting to full-year financial guidance for free cash flow and earnings per share at the low end of its previously stated range, the company acknowledged its goal of doubling 2007 gross profit by 2012 is unlikely.

"Over the course of a five-year operational plan, the landscape can change," said Hugh Grant, chairman, president and CEO for Monsanto. "While there may be options to make an accelerated push for 2012, it's clear to me that achieving that objective would involve making short-term choices that are not in the long-range interests of the business. Still, nothing has changed in my fundamental view of the business. We have the best products, we have a commercial and technology lead and we have the experience to apply the lessons of 2010. Given that, I am confident that we're a growth company going forward."

Net sales decreased $145 million, or 4 percent, in the three-month comparison primarily as a result of lower prices for the company's glyphosate-based herbicides. These price decreases were central to the company's strategy of increasing global volume, which increased in several regions including Brazil, Argentina, Asia, and the United States. Net income in the second quarter was $887 million.

Gross profit declined 17 percent in the quarter to $2.1 billion, also driven by the price decreases for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. For the first six months, gross profit is down 30 percent or $1.2 billion.

While total returns are not final, the company said it expects total acreage to reach approximately 3 million acres for Genuity(TM) SmartStax(TM) corn and 6 million acres for Genuity(TM) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) soybeans. More promising, the company said, are the broad trials in both crops. More than 40 percent of the company's branded customers are trying Genuity(TM) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(R) and more than 20 percent of the company's branded customers are trying Genuity(TM) SmartStax(TM).

SOURCE: Monsanto.