Monsanto are facing their biggest crisis yet, as over 2,600 jobs are to be cut amid a major decline in the corporations profits over the last year.
Over 12% of Monsanto’s workforce will be axed, as the company reported a loss of 19 cents of its share price in the fiscal fourth quarter, and anticipate a further decline through 2016.
Like DuPont Co. and Glencore Plc, Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker, is taking steps to combat the effects of a commodity slump that reduced farmer incomes for two straight years. Moves to trim expenses include re-prioritizing some research and development efforts and exiting the sugar-cane business to save as much as $300 million a year. Still, the company said it plans to meet its goal of doubling per-share earnings in five years from 2014.
“It seems surprising that they are still confident of reaching the 2019 goal given the environment they are facing for 2016,” Chris Shaw, a New York-based analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. who rates the shares neutral, said in a telephone interview.
Monsanto fell 0.4 percent to $87.75 at 10:45 a.m. in New York. The shares have dropped 27 percent this year.
Profit will fall to $5.10 to $5.60 a share in the 12 months that began Sept. 1, excluding restructuring costs, from $5.73 a year earlier, Monsanto said Wednesday in a statement. That compares with $6.22, the average of 23 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The last time that profit dropped was in 2010.
On Monday, DuPont, Monsanto’s largest competitor, cut its forecast for 2015 earnings, citing weak agriculture markets in Brazil and the dollar’s strength against the real. DuPont Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman abruptly stepped down. Also on Wednesday, Platform Specialty Products Corp., another U.S. rival, cut its earnings forecast.
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