Monsanto FY 3Q15 Earnings Call Notes

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Challenges facing the world’s food supply continue to evolve

“The challenges facing the world’s food supply continue to evolve. The growing population along with our volatile and changing climate place ever increasing burdens on global food production”

That’s why we want to own Syngenta

“Combining the strengths of Monsanto and Syngenta would accelerate the development of new innovations, increase our scale and reach and provide a broader spectrum of products for growers around the world and it would use data science to offer a more insightful, precise approach to agriculture.”

Today we reach 400 of 3.5B acres of arable land

“Today, our foundation and our core crops reaches 400 million of the world’s 3.5 billion acres of arable land.”

It’s been a tough year but our relationship with farmers is great

“There is no doubt it has been a tough year with the macro pressures facing global agriculture, namely our retreat and corn acres, currency and pressured commodity prices. That said, I’ve not seen our relationships with our farmer customers, our portfolio, our position in the market or our pipeline stronger than I see them right now.”

US corn acres will be 88-89m

“With the line of sight from our third quarter, where we’ve seen a good uptick in the U.S. end season ordering, we now believe corn acres will be in the of 88 million to 89 million acres.”

Soybean acres 85m

“with the additional clarity we have from the spring planting progress, we expect U.S. soybean acres closer to 85 million versus earlier estimates of 87 million acres and the combination of shipments in our order book continues to indicate our share is growing with farmers continuing to choose Roundup Ready 2 Yield as the product of choice across our branded and licensed footprint.”

Climate pro on 45% of corn and soybean acres in the US

“To date, we’ve enrolled more than 75 million acres on the Climate Platform, which is roughly 45% of the total planted corn and soybean acres in the U.S. and with the current usage trends from those who use the platform weekly, we are tracking nicely towards our active used target of 45 million acres.’

Shrunk the share count by 55m shares since last year

“we successfully completed our 6 billion accelerated share buyback program this quarter and our share count now stands at 469 million shares outstanding, a reduction of more than 55 million shares since we initiated our new capital allocation strategy just a year ago.’

We can’t get syngenta to talk to us

“call me traditional, but I always think that business gets done when people meet, when they sit down across the table and try and work out a solution and we’ve been singularly unsuccessful in getting Syngenta to sit down and talk. We’ve seen the videos where they talk to themselves, but I’d love to be able to engage in a conversation.”

Climate Pro helps farmers analyze data

“If you look at the early days of the Climate Pro, which were the paid acres this year, I’d say it was driven by the nitrogen model which gave farmers, lots of insights particularly in some areas this year that were kindly difficult with the early planning season and lots of rain et cetera in some areas so that played very well.”

“And then the shift which was just as exciting as how much interest there was in the Field Health Advisor this year which was the other big app that we had available on that paid system this year and that one really gets that worked. He was describing as thinking about field help in the field help and farmers make the decisions in raising the crop through the rest of the year and its really impressive to see the interest from farmers that it confirms again the farmer’s understand intuitively. They have this variability in the field and they believe that it can be addressed and they’re willing to work with us to figure out how to do that”