UPDATE 1-Monsanto slashes forecast on strong dollar, pricing pressure

Wed Mar 2, 2016 9:02am EST
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March 2 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, slashed its earnings forecast for the year, hurt by a strong dollar and low prices for its seeds as farmers curb spending.

Monsanto's shares were down 5.3 percent at $87.60 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

The company is also under pressure due to the ongoing merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co, a deal that could shake up the industry.

Monsanto had warned in January that souring farm economy and currency woes would push its 2016 earnings to the lower half of its original forecast in December.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it now expects adjusted earnings per share of $4.40-$5.10, compared with the $5.10-$5.60 it had forecast in December.

About 25-30 cents of the reduction in the earnings per share outlook is due to the impact of the stronger dollar, Monsanto said.

The St. Louis-based company also trimmed its cash flow forecast for the year to $1.4 billion-$1.6 billion from $1.6 billion-$1.8 billion.

Monsanto said it now expects full-year net earnings per share of $3.42-$4.29, down from its previous forecast of $4.00-$4.66. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)