Monsanto, the company that has come under fire for its genetically modified seeds said its earnings fell 34% in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company’s biotech-enhanced seeds.
‘US farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years. That has resulted in farmers in South America and elsewhere reducing the number of acres they dedicate to corn. Monsanto said its business was also affected by reduced cotton planting in Australia.
The agriculture products company’s revenue fell more than 8% to $2.87bn in the period, on lower sales of corn seeds and herbicide. Analysts expected $2.96bn, according to Zacks.
The St Louis-based company reported a profit of $243m, or 50 cents per share, down from $368m, or 69 cents per share in the same period last year.
Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations, came to 47 cents per share in the most recent quarter.
Even with the fall in earnings, the results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 34 cents per share.’