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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.

  • Corn prices rally to new record high

    Corn prices have surged more than 60% since the middle of June as the worst drought in more than half a century blankets the Midwest.

    Corn prices climbed to a record high Thursday, staging a fresh rally as investor gear up for the U.S. government's latest snapshot on corn production due Friday morning.

    "Analysts are making some pretty dire predictions," said Sal Gilbertie, chief investment of Teucrium Trading, which runs the Teucrium MORE

    - Aug 9, 2012 2:03 PM ET
  • Corn prices hit record as crops shrivel

    Click the chart to check prices of corn, soybeans and other commodities.

    Corn prices surged to a new record high Tuesday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.

    Almost 90% of the United States' corn crops are in drought ravaged areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and nearly 40% are situated in the hardest hit spots.

    Corn prices have MORE

    - Jul 31, 2012 9:55 AM ET
  • Corn prices spike amid Midwest drought

    Click the chart to check prices of corn and other commodities.

    Corn prices have soared more than 40% in recent weeks as the scorching, dry heat wreaks havoc on crops in the Midwest.

    Prices went as high as $7.33 per bushel of corn on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday, not far from the record high of $7.9975 hit last June, amid worries about flood damage. Prices eased slightly Tuesday, as investors MORE

    - Jul 10, 2012 11:52 AM ET
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