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Monsanto's Deal with DuPont

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Monsanto Company , an agricultural products and solutions provider, recently announced a new deal with E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , relating to Monsanto’s Roundup technologies.

Subject to approvals, the deal will empower DuPont to offer Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans by 2014 and 2015, respectively, in the U.S. and Canada. In return, Monsanto will gain access to certain disease resistance and corn defoliation patents of DuPont Pioneer, in addition to the royalties received.

Monsanto will receive royalties worth $1.752 billion from DuPont, starting from 2014 to 2023 for both the technologies used. DuPont will make annual royalty payments totaling $802 million, in the timeframe between 2014 and 2018. Also, payments for use of both the Roundup technologies will be made on a per-unit basis for the life of the agreement. Beginning in 2018 until 2023, a minimum of $950 million royalty will be paid.

This deal led Monsanto and DuPont withdraw their lawsuits against each other, concerning the unauthorized use of Roundup Ready technology in its corn and soybeans by the latter. The lawsuits filed in 2009 were withdrawn on Mar 26, 2013, following the new deal, which will result in an expansion of their seeds portfolio.

Owing to the arrangement, Monsanto’s shares also reached a new 52-week high of $105.79 on Mar 27, above the last 52-week high of $104.96 reached on Mar 15. Monsanto has generated a return of approximately 11.1% year-to-date on a calendar year basis.

Monsanto is releasing its fiscal second-quarter 2013 results on Apr 3. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is $2.55, representing a year-over-year growth of 11.9%.

Monsanto currently bears a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other agricultural chemicals stocks worth a look are CVR Partners, LP (UAN - Free Report) and Balchem Corp. ; both carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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