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In a bid to expand its fungicide portfolio, FMC Corporation (FMC - Analyst Report) has inked a research and development deal with Italian chemical company, Isagro S.p.A., to jointly develop broad spectrum fungicide. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Isagro is a leader in the field of agrochemicals and focuses primarily on research and development of new proprietary molecules and other active ingredients with low environmental impact. Isagro operates in 70 countries across the globe and has production facilities in 5 sites.

Fungicides are chemical compounds or biological organisms that kill or inhibit fungi or fungal spores. Fungicides prevent or inhibit the spread of plant disease which can harm both crop yields and quality. In general, fungicides are either preventative or curative and are also segmented being contact, translaminar or systemic, depending on the extent to which the product is taken up by the crop plant. Fungicides are used on a wide variety of crops such as fruits, vegetables, soybean, cereals and rice.

The companies have partnered to jointly produce the new carboximide-class fungicide to be sold globally.  The new product will be used for crop protection against diseases.

The agreement with Isagro will expand the vast fungicide portfolio of FMC Corp. The deal is in line with its strategy to produce innovative and effective crop protection technologies.

FMC Corp. reported adjusted earnings of 92 cents per share in second-quarter 2012, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 90 cents. Revenues rose 11.5% year over year to $905.2 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $906 million.

FMC Corp. is a leading diversified chemical company that serves agricultural, industrial, environmental and consumer markets across the globe. It operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.  

FMC Corp. faces tough competition from companies like The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report), Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report) and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD - Analyst Report). It retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

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