Monsanto Attempts to Woo 'New Yorker' Readers
2.Monsanto's message to the markets
NOTE: Very useful info in these two items about Monsanto's current marketing messages. Note that "sustainable" is now one of the key buzzwords (as against "short-term techno-fix"). When it comes to investors the talk is of "game-changing technology platforms" (as against "over-reliant on corn, soy and Roundup") (item 2).
EXTRACT: [Mark Halton, global corporate marketing lead for Monsanto] said the effort, via Blue, Washington, is the first campaign from Monsanto in years. Since the goal is to not only influence policy but to engage thought leaders, the media plan includes both political titles and general interest magazines like The New Yorker.
Halton said the latter placement is an effort to reach readers who might be influenced by writers such as Michael Pollan, author of the best-selling book Omnivore's Dilemma that criticizes the agriculture industry's reliance on corn and soy, which Pollan argues limits natural diversity.
1.Monsanto Attempts to Woo 'New Yorker' Readers
By Todd Wasserman
Brand Week, Feb 10 2009
[image: go to the page to see the Monsanto ad - "How can we squeeze more food from a raindrop?"]
Monsanto, often a magnet for criticism among green advocacy groups because of its support for genetically modified food, is attempting to woo some thought leaders with a new ad campaign.
The print campaign, which broke in September, was stepped up in January with placements in publications like The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly and the back-page of The New Yorker's current issue.
The ads make the argument that the world is currently using all its arable land and future food production depends on technology breakthroughs from companies like Monsanto. "How can we squeeze more food from a raindrop?" asks one ad, which goes on to say that the answer involves "putting the latest science-based tools in farmers' hands."
Mark Halton, global corporate marketing lead for Monsanto, said the ad campaign is an outgrowth of Monsanto's "sustainable yield initiative," a program the company introduced last year to help farmers increase food production by creating more efficiencies from the three primary tools of agriculture: soil, fertilizer and water.
Halton said the effort, via Blue, Washington, is the first campaign from Monsanto in years. Since the goal is to not only influence policy but to engage thought leaders, the media plan includes both political titles and general interest magazines like The New Yorker. Halton said the latter placement is an effort to reach readers who might be influenced by writers such as Michael Pollan, author of the best-selling book Omnivore's Dilemma that criticizes the agriculture industry's reliance on corn and soy, which Pollan argues limits natural diversity.
Since Monsanto is closely associated with the genetically modified food issue and a U.S. company to boot, it often bears the brunt of criticism against GM. Though the Center for Science in the Public Interest has reprimanded Monsanto over the issue in the past, Gregory Jaffe, director of the CSPI's biotech project, held a fairly positive view of the sustainable yield initiative. "I think the technology they're using has some potential to solve our agricultural problems," though he added, "I would not say that their technology is a silver bullet." [No because that would be the wrong brand word. Jaffe is notoriously corporate friendly when it comes to GM. Must be the effect of all that Rockefeller funding CSPI got for bridging the biotech divide]
2.Monsanto's Success in Seed and Trait Technologies Leading The Way Toward 2012 Gross Profit Goals
Monsanto CFO to Tell Investors about Company's Robust Product Pipeline, Strength in Key Markets and Solid Financial Discipline
SOURCE Monsanto Company
NEW YORK, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The determined focus of Monsanto (NYSE: MON) to successfully execute its industry-leading seeds and traits strategy is the key to helping the company achieve 20 percent-plus earnings growth and generate more than $1.8 billion in free cash for fiscal 2009. It also will more than offset any anticipated decline in the company's Roundup herbicide business over the next three years and move the company closer to reaching its goal of more than doubling its fiscal 2007 gross profit by 2012. This is the message Monsanto Chief Financial Officer Terry Crews will tell investors today as part of a presentation at the Goldman Sachs 13th Annual Agricultural Biotech Forum in New York.
Crews will highlight Monsanto's plans to launch two game-changing technology platforms over the next two years, namely its Roundup Ready 2 Yield second-generation soybean trait platform and its new SmartStax trait platform, both of which are scheduled to come to market at least two years ahead of competitive offerings. As these products are coming out of Monsanto's research-and-development (R&D) pipeline, Crews also will note four of the company's future game-changers are already progressing through the pipeline. These new game-changing technologies include its second-generation higher-yielding soybeans, its nitrogen-use-efficiency corn, its first-generation drought-tolerant corn platform, which this year reached Phase 4 - the final phase before commercialization - and its second-generation drought-tolerant corn platform, which currently is in Phase 2. Crews additionally will note that technologies moving through the company's R&D pipeline have the potential to conservatively
an incremental $5 billion in gross sales by 2020.
With the strong early reception of Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans this year for Monsanto's controlled commercial release in the United States on 1.5 million acres, Crews will note the company is reviewing its production plans to ensure it meets its target range of 5 million to 6 million U.S. soybean acres for the 2010 full commercial launch.
Crews also will discuss that the company's expected penetration of triple-stack corn offerings is not only expected to help it grow its branded seed businesses, increase corn seed and trait gross profits by 25 percent and improve its corn seed and trait gross margins in 2009, it also is expected to give the company the fullest potential for success for SmartStax's planned launch in 2010.
The anticipated ongoing success of the company's seeds and traits businesses will more than offset the expected decline in its Roundup herbicide business to the $1.9 billion gross profit level by 2012. "We manage our Roundup business to maximize the profit and cash flow potential of this business and reinvested those cash flows to fuel the growth of our seeds and traits business," Crews will say. He also will note that 2009 will likely be the peak of Roundup profitability, which is expected to be in the $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion gross profit range as he expects current pricing based on added value to more than offset volume declines.
Crews also will discuss that not only has Monsanto's seeds and traits strategy strongly taken hold in the United States, it also is helping the company make significant gains in key foreign markets such as Brazil and Argentina. Sales increases in these countries in 2009 have been largely driven by the successful 1.5-million-acre launch of the YieldGard Corn Borer trait technology in Brazil and the more than 2-million-acre double-trait offering of YieldGard Corn Borer and Roundup Ready Corn 2 in Argentina. With these results, the company expects to gain one to two share points in both countries in 2009 and 2010.
"Growers in these two important markets already know the value our biotech products provide and are ready to invest to lower risk and improve yields," Crews will say.
Crews also will explain in his presentation how the company effectively converts its earnings into cash flow and how it has returned value to shareowners through its uses of cash for strategic acquisitions, capital expenditures, increased dividends and share repurchases.
Crews will conclude with an outlook for 2009 and the objective to deliver on-going earnings per share in the $4.40 to $4.50 range compared to $3.64 in 2008. This includes expectations for EPS growth in the second and third quarter to both be in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.
Crews' presentation slides and simultaneous audio webcast of the presentation may be accessed by visiting the company's Web site at www.monsanto.com/investors. Following today's live broadcast set for 2:30 p.m. ET, a replay of the webcast will be available for two weeks.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
Certain statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements," such as statements concerning the company's anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company's exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company's
research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company's ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company's facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent periodic report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.
Note to editor: Roundup, Roundup Ready 2 Yield, SmartStax, YieldGard and Roundup Ready are trademarks of Monsanto Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries.
Selected Financial Information
(Dollars in millions)
1. Ongoing EPS and Free Cash Flow: The presentations of ongoing EPS and free cash flow are not intended to replace net income (loss), cash flows, financial position or comprehensive income (loss), and they are not measures of financial performance as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States. The following tables reconcile ongoing EPS and free cash flow to the respective most directly comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP.
Reconciliation of EPS to Ongoing EPS: Ongoing EPS is calculated excluding certain after-tax items which Monsanto does not consider part of ongoing operations. The company is not able to provide a reconciliation to reported EPS guidance for fiscal year 2009 at this time, as it is still evaluating purchase accounting adjustments related to its recent $264 million acquisition of the Brazilian sugar cane business Aly Participacoes Ltda. Such adjustments are dependent upon the completion of valuations of certain intangible assets, including acquired in-process R&D which requires immediate expense recognition and is expected to be significant.
Fiscal Year 2008
Diluted Earnings per Share
Items Affecting Comparability - EPS
Income on Discontinued Operations
Acquired In-Process R&D (De Ruiter)
Solutia Claim Settlement
Diluted Earnings per Share from Ongoing
Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow: Free cash flow represents the total of cash flows from operating activities and investing activities, as reflected in the Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows presented in this release. With respect to the fiscal year 2009 free cash flow guidance, Monsanto does not include any estimates or projections of Net Cash Provided (Required) by Financing Activities because in order to prepare any such estimate or projection, Monsanto would need to rely on market factors and conditions that are outside of its control.
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities $3,000
Net Cash Provided (Required) by Investing Activities
Free Cash Flow
Net Cash Required by Financing Activities N/A
Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash
and Cash Equivalents
Net (Decrease) Increase in Cash and Cash
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning
Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of
Contact Media: Justin Gioia (314-694-4003)
Analysts: Scarlett Lee Foster (314-694-8148)
SOURCE Monsanto Company