Shares of Monsanto (NYSE:MON) — the world’s largest seed company and a developer of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops — improved almost 3% in midday Wednesday trading after the company posted solid Q3 earnings.
Adjusted earnings of $1.63 per share topped expectations of $1.60 per share and were quite an improvement from EPS of $1.28 at the same time last year.
Revenues also grew 17% to $4.2 billion, beating analyst calls of $4 billion.
Sales of corn seed and genetic traits jumped 35% thanks to an increase in U.S. planted corn acres — the most planted in 75 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmers were responding to strong global demand, which should continue to rise with the growing global population, the Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant told Reuters.
Sales of herbicides like Roundup also came in better than expected, increasing around $130 million year-over-year.
Monsanto confirmed EPS guidance for the full year in the range of $3.65 to $3.70 and expects earnings growth in the mid-teens for 2013.