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The real earnings kick-off: Monsanto

January 8, 2013: 12:45 PM ET

Everyone may be waiting for Alcoa (AA) to unofficially kick things off, but Monsanto (MON) may have stolen the show this time around.

The agriculture behemoth reported quarterly earnings Tuesday morning that blew past analysts' estimates, helped by growth from its Latin American corn business and early momentum in the United States.

Monsanto's stock rocketed more than 4% higher, nearly breaching the $100 mark -- a level not touched since 2008!

Shares pulled back a bit as the day wore on, which may partly be due to the company's guidance. While Monsanto upped its outlook, the numbers were still a little shy of what analysts are hoping for.

"We've achieved a successful start to the year, with contributions from multiple areas that speaks to the strength of our global business," said Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant.

Last year, the Midwestern United States faced its worst drought in 56 years, hurting crops and sending corn prices surging to record highs. At the same time, Monsanto said it was seeing strong U.S. orders in the latest quarter.

Corn is a big part of Monsanto's growth, with fiscal third quarter sales of corn seeds and traits rising 27% to $1.1 billion.

StockTwits popped with traders' comments.


Monsanto 42.3% order book increase driven by US seed business. Company likes strong signal but noted that seeds not in the ground yet. $MON

That may be another reason the stock has pulled back from its earlier high. Until the planting (and growing) is underway, investors may not want to count their kernels before they're popped.

so $MOS and $MON both murder estimates after very disappointing quarters 3 months ago, interesting

$MON crushed its estimates. Wow, and it's near $100 in premarket. I remember when investors hated this stock, how quickly things change.

Truer words were never spoken.

Investors are a fickle bunch and to quote Jerry Maguire, they want companies to "Show me the money!" So far, it seems like Monsanto is on the right track.

where technicals and fundamentals merge beautifully - $MON broke out yest (and last week), delivered stellar Q and guidance

$MON $LNN seeds and equipment lead proven. Ferts...still not so sure how they will fair this year. Waiting for $POT CEO stories...

Investors will have to wait until the end of the month to see if fertilizer giant Potash (POT) can jump on the bandwagon.

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Catherine Tymkiw
Catherine Tymkiw
News Editor CNNMoney

Catherine Tymkiw is a news editor at CNNMoney where she helps oversee breaking news coverage and futures planning. Previously, she was the investing editor. Prior to joining CNNMoney, she was the online editor at Crain's New York Business and has nearly two decades of reporting and editing experience. She tweets @ctymkiwcnn

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