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Monsanto Plans Shift to Core Businesses

October 20, 1998|Associated Press

Monsanto Co. said it is looking to 1999 as a transition year in which it plans to build its core businesses--agricultural and pharmaceutical products--and to divest itself of non-core assets. Robert B. Shapiro, chairman and chief executive, told an analysts meeting that the income contributions of Monsanto's base businesses have grown at a compound annual growth rate of more than 20% since 1995, if growth investments and expenses are excluded. That trend is expected to continue, he said. The company expects net income to increase substantially in 2000 and beyond as the income from new pharmaceutical and agricultural biotechnology products and from seed company acquisitions is realized, said Gary Crittendon, chief financial officer. Officials noted that St. Louis, Mo.-based Monsanto has more than 50 products being developed by its agricultural business. And it said its Searle subsidiary could be launching as many as 10 major pharmaceutical products worldwide in the next four years. Monsanto shares fell $3 to close at $36.50 on the NYSE.

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