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Monsanto 4th qtr loss larger than expected, but sales rise

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, reported a larger quarterly loss on Wednesday as seed sales slipped, but total sales rose and the company said it was positioned for strong growth in 2014.

The leading developer of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops also announced it was acquiring a climate data science company as part of a long-term growth plan.

Overall, the company lost $249 million, or 47 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $229 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 43 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose to $2.2 billion from $2.1 billion a year earlier, but sales of its key seeds and genomics business dropped to $1.19 billion from $1.20 billion a year earlier.