Monsanto Co.’s (MON) shares dropped more than 8.0% to a lod of $48.16, the lowest levels in more than three years, after the global seed producer adjusted performance expectations downward on Thursday. Monsanto said it now expects 2010 operating earnings to range between $2.40 to $2.60 a share on an adjusted basis, from a range of $3.10 to $3.30. Analysts had been looking for $3.13 a share.
The world’s largest seed and agricultural chemicals company said it would “drastically narrow its Roundup brand portfolio to offer farmers a simple, quality product that meets their needs at a price closer to generics.”
“By reducing the uncertainty associated with Roundup, we free Monsanto to grow on its fundamentals,” Monsanto Chairman Hugh Grant said in a statement. “What matters to our long-term growth is our seeds-and-traits business, which is on track.”
Monsanto said it now expects ongoing EPS for its upcoming Q3 to be in the range of $0.75 to $0.80, and $0.65 to $0.72 on an as-reported basis. The co. also revised its free cash flow guidance to $400 million to $500 million. Last month Monsanto said its 2010 free cash flow target was $900 million to $1 billion.
MON slid $3.64, or 6.72%, to $49.14 rtq at 12:39 E.T. in New York Stock Exchange trading.