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Monsanto to Buyback Shares

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In keeping with its strategy of consistently enhancing shareholder value, Monsanto Company (MON) announced a new share repurchase program.

The share repurchase program spans over three years, worth a total amount of $2 billion. The new initiative will commence from Jul 1, this year. This program will follow the completion of the previous $1 billion share repurchase, which was authorized by the board of directors in July last year.

The July 2012 program commenced from Jan 14, 2013, subsequent to the three year share repurchase program which commenced on Aug 24, 2010. After the repurchase of roughly $3 million shares in Jan 2013, Monsanto had roughly $737.7 million worth of shares left, which are authorized for repurchase under its share buyback programs, as of Feb 28, 2013.

Last month, Monsanto also raised its fiscal 2013 earnings guidance based on the latest developments. Monsanto now expects its ongoing earnings for the fiscal to lie in the range of $4.50-$4.55 per share, on the basis of its expectations that its corn business will flourish in the coming quarters, especially in Latin America. This new guidance translates into a 20% year-over-year earnings increase for fiscal 2013.

Moreover, earnings per share expectations for fiscal third quarter 2013 are expected to be in the range of $1.55-$1.60. In addition, the company expects a lower year-over-year fiscal fourth quarter loss.

In addition to this, Monsanto announced a quarterly dividend per share of 37.5 cents, to be paid to shareholders as on Jul 5, 2013. The dividend will be paid on Jul 26, 2013.

Monsanto is expected to release its fiscal third quarter 2013 results on Jun 26. This agricultural solutions provider currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks worth a watch in the chemicals industry are American Vanguard Corp. (AVD) and OM Group Inc. (OMG); each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while, Cosan Ltd. (CZZ) carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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