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Wall Street Analyst Predicts
Less Profits for Monsanto
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - UBS Warburg on Friday said it cut its rating for agricultural products company Monsanto Co.
MON.N> to "hold" from "buy," citing lower growth expectations for this year.
Analyst Andrew Cash said the expectations are based on price erosion , the company's exposure to Argentina, and lowered optimism for new biotechnology product launches in the near-term.
Cash said he estimates that Argentina's economic turmoil and the devaluation of the peso will cut Monsanto's earnings by 12 cents a share in 2002. He also sees the growth of current biotech products in established markets like the United States reaching a plateau.
"Our proprietary contacts in the field just confirmed to us the likelihood of price cuts in Monsanto's base seed business," Cash added.
Shares of Monsanto, which makes the world's No. 1 herbicide, Roundup, closed at $33.30 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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