ST. LOUIS, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today increased its expected earnings per share guidance for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 and reaffirmed its full-year guidance, confirming its mid-teens earnings growth outlook for the year. The company now expects first-quarter ongoing and as-reported earnings per share in the range of $0.15 to $0.20, an increase from the previous guidance of the high end of the $0.10 to $0.15 range. (For a reconciliation of EPS guidance, see note 1.)
Reflecting the company's strategic growth plan, the first quarter is driven primarily by the strength of the business in Brazil and Argentina, with some contribution from timing benefits in the U.S. and Australia.
Full year earnings per share and cash flow guidance are unchanged. Earnings per share for the full fiscal year are expected in the range of $3.34 to $3.44 on an ongoing and as-reported basis. The company projects free cash flow in the range of $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2012, with net cash provided by operating activities to be $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion, and net cash required by investing activities to be approximately $900 million to $1 billion. (For reconciliations of EPS and of free cash flow guidance, see note 1.)
Pierre Courduroux, senior vice president and chief financial officer, will discuss the updated guidance when addressing investors today at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Industrials Conference. Courduroux will speak at 10:45 a.m. central time and slides and a simultaneous audio webcast will be available for the presentation by visiting the investor section of Monsanto's web site at www.monsanto.com/investors. Following the live broadcast, a replay of the webcast will be available on the Monsanto web site for three weeks.
Monsanto will announce its first quarter earnings on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.