Monsanto Records $156 Million Loss For Fourth Quarter (NYSE:MON)

Monsanto Co. reported that the company recorded a loss of $156 million in the latest quarter, a loss that was considerably higher than expected. The loss amounted to about 31 cents per share. Analysts expected a loss of around 24 cents per share.

Revenue rose to $2.63 billion in the quarter, an increase of more than 19 percent. That was higher than analysts’ forecasts of revenue of $2.42 billion. The company expects to post earnings of $5.75 to $6 for the full fiscal year.

During the quarter, two of the company’s business units, genetically-engineered seeds and herbicide, posted higher than average sales. Sales of biotech seeds increased to $1.38 billion, a 16 percent rise. Herbicide and agricultural product sales increased to 1.25 billion, a 23 percent rise.

Higher expenses were one of the factors that led to the loss in the latest quarter. Those expenses included a one-time payment to settle an environmental legal case. Excluding the legal settlement payment, the loss per share would have been 27 cents.

The company has also spent a significant amount of money fighting Oregon’s Measure 92, a ballot initiative to put “Genetically Engineered” labels on all foods either entirely or partially made of GMOs. So far, the company has donated $1.5 million to an organization called the “No on 92 Coalition” to defeat the initiative. According to an article in the New York Times, other donors to the group include the Hershey Company, the Kellogg Company and Dow AgroSciences.

The agriculture business giant has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for years. Monsanto is now focusing on developing products specifically for emerging markets, including countries such as Argentina and Brazil. The company is also pursuing the development of new computerized tools for the agricultural sector. The company predicted that it would be able to report “strong double-digit to mid-teens earnings growth in fiscal year 2015.”