ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Co. on Thursday said higher seed sales helped it return to profitability in the first quarter compared with a loss in the same three-month period last year.
The St. Louis company reported higher sales for corn, soybean, vegetable and cotton seeds. It also posted higher sales of its Roundup weedkiller despite tight competition from a variety of generic competitors.
Monsanto said net income was $6 million, or 2 cents per share, for the quarter ended Nov. 30, compared with a loss of $19 million, or 2 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue increased 8 percent to $1.83 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 1 cent per share on revenue of $1.79 billion.
Monsanto said it cut general and administrative expenses 9 percent after restructuring operations last year, and it increased research and development spending 13 percent.
The company said it expects to earn between $2.69 and $2.79 per share in 2011.
Shares slipped 3 cents to $69.10 in pre-market trading.