Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) unveiled its third fiscal quarter results that topped Wall Street estimates and raised the lower end of its 2014 outlook.
The combination of positive announcements lifted its shares up over 5% in morning trading Wednesday.
To double ongoing EPS over 5 years
While unveiling its solid third quarter results today, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON), a leading global provider of agricultural products for farmers, said it earned $858 million, or $1.62 per share in the three months ended May 31, while its revenue was virtually flat at $4.25 billion.
The St. Louis company’s earnings beat the average analyst projection, as measured by FactSet, for earnings of $1.54 per share on revenue of $4.39 billion for the quarter.
Painting a bright outlook, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) also enhanced the low end of its 2014 forecast to between $5.10 and $5.20 per share, as against its earlier estimate of $5 to $5.20 per share.
Interestingly, the company posted strong results despite facing greater headwinds across the industry.
Enthused by company’s continuing momentum, strong performance and ongoing opportunity, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) today unveiled a new long-term target to at least double full year ongoing EPS by the end of fiscal year 2019. Clearly, the revised target mirrors management’s confidence in the growth opportunity for the core business and transformational potential in new platforms.
The company anticipates the major driver of the overall growth strategy over the next five years would be its established core seeds and traits business, which is expected to contribute over $4 billion in total incremental gross profit growth during that period. The company also anticipates its new platforms such as Climate Corporation platform to play a significant part towards its strategy and earnings profile during this five year growth horizon.
Monsanto’s big share buyback plan
Armed with strong balance sheet and cash flow generation, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) has the financial flexibility to pursue both organic and external growth opportunities while returning capital to shareowners.
While about $1.1 billion remaining in the company’s current share repurchase program, Monsanto announced a new two-year $10 billion share repurchase authorization.
Last month, in its quarterly letter to shareholders, Glenview Capital Management, a firm managed by Larry Robbins highlighted Monsanto is an almost monopolistic company with a wide moat in its industry, which will guarantee a reasonable base case return scenario.