Bayer Beats Expectations with a Payoff in Profits

Bayer Buys Monsanto
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 14: The logo of German pharmaceuticals and chemicals giant Bayer stands over Bayer corporate offices on September 14, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The company confirmed earlier today that it has sealed the deal to buy Monsanto for USD 66 billion. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Photograph by Sean Gallup—Getty Images

Bayer, the German drugmaker that is buying U.S. seed company Monsanto, beat expectations for third-quarter earnings as it kept pharmaceuticals selling expenses in check and raised prices for farming pesticides.

Third-quarter profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), adjusted for one-off items, rose 6% to 2.68 billion euros ($2.92 billion), above the average estimate of 2.52 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Sales of prescription drugs rose more than 7%, led by stroke-prevention pill Xarelto and eye drug Eylea, broadly in line with the market view, but Bayer unexpectedly managed to keep selling expenses flat.

Bayer (BAYRY) shares were flat in early trading, slightly outperforming the German blue-chip index, which slid 0.3%.

Bayer‘s plastics business Covestro already reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, boosted by growth in China and by rivals’ production outages.

Bayer‘s crop protection division, traditionally weak in the third quarter, managed to lift prices even though subdued demand, particularly in Latin America, showed no signs of rebounding.

Bayer, the inventor of aspirin and maker of Yasmin birth control pills, now aims to increase full-year core earnings per share from continuing operations by a high-single-digit percentage, compared with a previous goal of a mid- to high-single-digit percentage gain.

Under its plan to close the $66 billion Monsanto (MON) deal by end-2017, Bayer said it would seek approval in the United States before the end of 2016, followed by the European Union likely in the first quarter of 2017.

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