Monsanto Company Conference Call Highlights
Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) reported its Q4 earnings on Wednesday. Shares of the company are up 2 percent.
Below are some key highlights and takeaways from its conference call.
Operations and Guidance:
• We closed our fiscal year 2014 a bit above our earnings guidance.
• And we expect that growth to continue in 2015.
• As we deliver growth in 2015, as we stay focused on our customer.
• As we continue to invest to unlock new growth we can widen our long-term competitive position in an industry that's particularly near term focused right now.
• This morning, we laid out our EPS guidance of $5.75 to $6.00 reinforcing our confidence in our ability to deliver the double digit to mid-teens growth that we targeted for 2015.
• This year, the industry will certainly face the headwinds of a more challenging agricultural environment.
• We're not immune and our guidance factors that in. But our more balanced global business also gives us more tools to manage the puts and takes.
• The proof of that came in 2014 as soybeans emerged as a true differentiator balancing the shifts in the global corn environment.
• With macro factors that change every year and a business that has become more global the pattern of the flow of the business through the year has been changing.
• We're now more aggressively using the strength of our cash generation and our balance sheet providing a structural benefit through our $10 billion share buy-back program.
• Over the course of 2014, we took a bolder approach and outlined the five-year target to at least double our ongoing EPS.
• It's not distant growth that the back end of the decade.
• We'll expect strong growth in 2015 that builds a cadence of consistent growth carrying from 2016 to 2019.
• Depending on the balance and timing of our share repurchase we anticipate the net effect to provide a positive contribution of around 4% to 5% to our total EPS growth in 2015 largely coming in the second half.
• The opportunity to at least double our ongoing earnings per share by 2019 is a compelling target that speaks to our confidence in growth this year
• The current environment has people asking whether our companies can grow and with our guidance for 2015 we are clear in our confidence that Monsanto can deliver strong double digit to mid-teens EPS growth.
• Our earnings guidance at $5.75 to $6 per share is consistent with the double digit to mid-teens earnings growth that we targeted coming into the year.
• We expect to generate $2 billion to $2.2 billion of free cash flow.
• We expect Q1 to come in at about roughly half of the total earnings from last year's Q1.
• We expect Q2 to be roughly flat year-over-year but expect to see significant uptick in Q3 earnings as a majority of our full year growth flows through that quarter.
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