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Monsanto posts higher quarterly and full-year profits

Monsanto Co. reported net income of $20 million, or 5 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Aug. 31, up from a loss of $191 million, or 44 cents per share, from the same quarter a year ago.

For the full fiscal 2017 ended Aug. 31, the company reported net income of $2.26 billion, or $5.09 per share, up from $1.34 billion, or $2.99 per share, from a year ago.

Total net sales rose to $2.69 billion in the fourth quarter from $2.56 billion a year earlier, while full-year total net sales increased to $14.64 billion from $13.50 billion.

By business segment, seeds and genomics net sales rose to $1.75 billion in the fourth quarter from $1.57 billion a year ago, while full-year net sales came in at $10.91 billion, up from $9.99 billion.

The agricultural productivity segment posted fourth-quarter net sales of $939 million, down from $997 million in the same period last year. Net sales for the full fiscal year increased to $3.73 billion from $3.51 billion.

Monsanto's gross profit came in at $1.34 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $1.14 billion a year ago. Full-year gross profit rose to $7.94 billion from $7.02 billion.

Given its pending combination with Bayer AG, Monsanto said it will not provide financial guidance for fiscal 2018, and will highlight key guideposts to consider instead.

Monsanto said it is also anticipating in fiscal 2018 the completion of its restructuring and cost savings initiative that started in fiscal 2015, with the expectation that expenses in business segments and research and development will be relatively flat year over year compared to 2017.

Upon completion of the restructuring and cost savings initiative, Monsanto expects to realize nearly $500 million in annual savings, compared to its fiscal 2015 baseline.