RPT-UPDATE 1-Monsanto affirms guidance, cites good crop data

(Repeats to widen distribution, no change to headline or

* Sees 3.8 bu/acre yield advantage for soybean seed

* Reaffirms 2011 EPS guidance of $2.67 to $2.77

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Nov 8 (BestGrowthStock) – Monsanto Co. (MON.N: ) said on
Monday its newly harvested U.S. corn and soybean products were
showing good yield performance, and the company reaffirmed
guidance on earnings per share, cash flow, and growth.

“Our harvest data provides confidence supporting our U.S.
product strategy in 2011,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman
and chief executive officer in a statement.

Monsanto said it saw “performance advantage” from its
Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans, as well as its Genuity
SmartStax corn seed. Investors and farmers have been
scrutinizing both products closely.

Monsanto said its Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans
delivered a yield advantage over competitor varieties of the
first-generation Roundup Ready trait of greater than three
bushels per acre. In particular, multi-year testing of Genuity
Roundup Ready 2 Yield indicates the technology is delivering an
average yield advantage of 3.8 bushels per acre, Monsanto

Monsanto said it expect Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield
soybeans to ramp up to a range of mid-teens millions of acres
in the U.S. for the 2011 season. Monsanto said it saw similar
yield advantages for its new corn seed products.

The company’s Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans have been the
subject of controversy after farmers reported poor performance
last year.

Last month, the West Virginia Attorney General’s office
filed a lawsuit against Monsanto seeking to prohibit it from
doing business in the state. Earlier this year, the attorney
general said it was investigating Monsanto for unfair or
deceptive practices in marketing its new genetically altered
soybean seeds.

Monsanto has discounted the allegations and said West
Virginia officials have misunderstood their marketing.

Monsanto said the results helped it confirm 2011 earnings
per share guidance of $2.72 to $2.82 on an ongoing basis and
$2.67 to $2.77 on an as-reported basis.

The company continues to project free cash flow in the
range of $800 million to $900 million, which reflects an
expected investment of $600 million to $700 million in capital

The company said it expects net cash provided by operating
activities to be $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion, and net cash
required by investing activities to be approximately $900
million to $1 billion for fiscal year 2011.

The company’s shares were down 23 cents at $62.04 in midday
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by David Gregorio)

RPT-UPDATE 1-Monsanto affirms guidance, cites good crop data