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Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report) posted its financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter 2012 (ended August 31, 2012) with a loss per share from ongoing business of 44 cents as compared with a loss of 22 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. The results were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss per share of 44 cents.

For the fiscal year 2012, earnings per share from continuing operations came in at $3.70, up from $2.96 posted in 2011 and two cents below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.72.

Revenue

The company generated revenues of $2,110 million in the fourth quarter, down 6.1% from $2,247 million generated in the year-ago quarter. The results were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,110 million.

On a segmental basis, revenue from the Seeds and Genomics segment was recorded at $1,215 million, down from $1,351 million in the year-ago quarter. Agricultural Productivity segment’s revenues came in at $895 million versus $896 million a year ago.

For the fiscal 2012, revenue amounted to $13,516 million, up from $11,822 million reported in 2011 and down from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13,627 million.

Margins

During the quarter, gross margin was recorded at approximately 41.8%, down from 43.3% recorded in the year-ago comparable quarter.

Operating expense was recorded at $1,137, up from $1,042 million recorded in the year-ago period.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of net sales, were recorded at 34% compared with 29% recorded a year ago. On the other hand, Research & Development (R&D), as a percentage of net sales, was 21%, up from 18% recorded a year ago.

Balance Sheet/Cash Flow

Exiting the fiscal fourth quarter, the company’s cash and cash equivalents stood at approximately $3,283 million versus $1,716 million a year ago.  Long-term debt was recorded at $2,038 million, up from $1,538 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2012 was recorded at $3,051 million versus $2,814 million recorded a year ago. Free cash flow for the period increased to $2,017 million compared with $1,839 million a year ago.

Outlook

Management anticipates ongoing and as-reported earnings per share for fiscal 2013 to be within the $4.18-$4.32 range. Free cash flow is expected to be within the $1.7-$1.8 billion range.

The net cash provided by operating activities is expected to be in the range of $2.8 billion to $3.1 billion while net cash required by investing activities in the range of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion. SG&A expenses would be roughly 42.55 billion and R&D expenses roughly $1.53 billion.
 

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