For example, even Whole Foods, which has engaged in a variety of questionable actions, including their not-so-environmentally-friendly move of selling pre-peeled oranges in a ton of plastic, has made their commitment to better health clear; they’ve promised to have all of their products labeled with GMO content by 2018.
Even Campbell’s recently took a history-making stand against GMOs when they announced their, “… support for mandatory national labeling of products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) and proposed that the federal government provide a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging.”
But greedy Monsanto? Nope. Regardless of how health-conscious others have become, Monsanto – the biggest seed maker in the United States – remains dedicated to what matters most to them: their bottom line.
The numbers speak for themselves, as industry analysts warn of Monsanto’s dwindling profits
But according to industry analysts, the biotech giant better watch out. They’ve been experiencing dwindling profits since last year, a trend that hasn’t shown signs of letting up in 2016.
Just last month, Monsanto cited pricing pressure in farm chemicals and seeds as its reason for cutting its full-year earnings forecast. Furthermore, the company lowered second-quarter earnings from ongoing operations from $2.45 per share to $2.35 per share. The changes have analysts confident that Monsanto will likely report an 8.5% revenue drop to $4.756 billion, as well as a 16% decline in per-share profit.
Monsanto’s profit woes didn’t just happen overnight, either. In fact, they’ve been brewing for several months. Late last year, they announced plans to cut 2,600 jobs as part of a cost-savings plan. Although cutting these jobs meant reducing about 12% of their workforce, the company said it was necessary in order to address their reported loss of 19 cents per share during the fiscal fourth quarter. They also noted that they expected theirprofits would stay weak through 2016; the aforementioned per share earnings and revenue jobs suggest that their prediction is on track.
A recent April 2016 Monsanto press release reporting on the their second quarter financial results, shows the stark contrasts in cash flow between this year and last. It states:
For the first half of fiscal year 2016, net cash provided by operating activities was a source of approximately $1.4 billion, compared to approximately $1.5 billion the same period last year. Net cash required by investing activities for the first half of fiscal year 2016 was $483 million, compared to $532 million for the same period of fiscal year 2015. Net cash required by financing activities for the first half of 2016 was approximately $3.5 billion, compared to net cash required of $406 million for the same period of fiscal year 2015. Free cash flow was a source of $906 million for the first half of fiscal year 2016, compared to a source of $986 million for the first half of fiscal year 2015.
Struggling farmers seek options to offset falling crop prices … and they don’t include Monsanto
So, why the plunge in Monsanto’s profits?
Despite the fact that more acres of soybeans and corn are expected to be planted in the United States than ever before, Monsanto’s profits have been impacted by farmers who are searching for more affordable crop options. The reason is simple: Farmers are struggling, as grain prices have dipped to near five-year lows, not to mention the fact that farm incomes are at their lowest in about 14 years. As such, they’re looking to save money, which means cutting back on fertilizer, seed and chemical use. Translation: Monsanto’s profits are hurting, as people are turning towards more cost-effective, healthier options.
North Dakota farmer Randy Thompson is one such person. This year, he says he plans to apply 30 percent less nitrogen fertilizer to his corn in order to save money in the wake of falling crop prices.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Andy Pulk found a more reasonable price for crop nutrients. As a result, he’s trucking the nutrients to his farm, despite the fact that they’re 350 miles away. “We’re on a complete spending hold across the farm,” Pulk said.
Monsanto, it’s time to wake up. More people are shunning what you have to offer, getting wise to the fact that your efforts are costly and unhealthy options for themselves and the planet. They’re ready for a food revolution that keeps their health interests in mind, and it certainly doesn’t include what Monsanto stands for.