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Monsanto Is Boosting Bayer’s Bottom Line, Even With the Looming Risk of More Roundup Cancer Cases

November 13, 2018, 12:08 PM UTC

Bayer is doubling down on the embattled Monsanto weedkiller Roundup after a third quarter earnings report that showed the company’s acquisition of the seed and agricultural chemical company was a key driver of sales.

The German pharmaceutical company’s $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto earlier this year resulted in sales of $2.47 billion (€2.2 billion) in a quarter when Bayer’s core businesses like consumer and animal health suffered. The company’s adjusted earnings were flat year-on-year, but out-performed analysts’ expectations, sending the stock up 2.7% in early trading Tuesday morning.

Bayer could use a stock bump. The company’s share price has suffered in the wake of a landmark legal verdict that held Monsanto liable for the terminal cancer of Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper who had repeated exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup. The company’s stock fell as much as 18% on the result.

The company now faces lawsuits from 9,300 similar plaintiffs, but Bayer’s report on Tuesday reiterated that the company “considers the decision to be incorrect” in the Johnson lawsuit, and reassured investors that the judgement in that case did not necessarily indicate the verdict would be the same in all others.