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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
[X] ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012
[ ] TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-16167
Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes [X] No [ ]
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes [ ] No [X]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes [X] No [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes [X] No [ ]
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definition of large accelerated filer, accelerated filer and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check One): Large Accelerated Filer [X] Accelerated Filer [ ] Non-Accelerated Filer [ ] Smaller Reporting Company [ ]
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes [ ] No [X]
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrants most recently completed second fiscal quarter (Feb. 29, 2012): approximately $41.1 billion.
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrants classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date: 534,598,091 shares of common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding at Oct. 15, 2012.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Portions of Monsanto Companys definitive proxy statement, which is expected to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A in December 2012, are incorporated herein by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K is a document that U.S. public companies file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) every year. Part II of the Form 10-K contains the business information and financial statements that many companies include in the financial sections of their annual reports. The other sections of this Form 10-K include further information about our business that we believe will be of interest to investors. We hope investors will find it useful to have all of this information in a single document.
The SEC allows us to report information in the Form 10-K by incorporating by reference from another part of the Form 10-K or from the proxy statement. You will see that information is incorporated by reference in various parts of our Form 10-K. The proxy statement will be available on our Web site after it is filed with the SEC in December 2012.
Monsanto was incorporated in Delaware on Feb. 9, 2000, as a subsidiary of Pharmacia Corporation. Monsanto includes the operations, assets and liabilities that were previously the agricultural business of Pharmacia. Pharmacia is now a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc.
Monsanto, the company, we, our, and us are used interchangeably to refer to Monsanto Company or to Monsanto Company and its subsidiaries, as appropriate to the context. With respect to the time period prior to Sept. 1, 2000, these defined terms also refer to the agricultural business of Pharmacia.
Unless otherwise indicated, trademarks owned or licensed by Monsanto or its subsidiaries are shown in special type. Unless otherwise indicated, references to Roundup herbicides mean Roundup branded herbicides, excluding all lawn-and-garden herbicides, and references to Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides exclude all lawn-and-garden herbicides.
Information in this Form 10-K is current as of Oct. 19, 2012, unless otherwise specified.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
In this report, and from time to time throughout the year, we share our expectations for our companys future performance. These forward-looking statements include statements about our business plans; the potential development, regulatory approval, and public acceptance of our products; our expected financial performance, including sales performance, and the anticipated effect of our strategic actions; the anticipated benefits of recent acquisitions; the outcome of contingencies, such as litigation and the previously announced SEC investigation; domestic or international economic, political and market conditions; and other factors that could affect our future results of operations or financial position, including, without limitation, statements under the captions Legal Proceedings, Overview Executive Summary Outlook, Seeds and Genomics Segment, Agricultural Productivity Segment, Financial Condition, Liquidity, and Capital Resources, and Outlook. Any statements we make that are not matters of current reportage or historical fact should be considered forward-looking. Such statements often include words such as believe, expect, anticipate, intend, plan, estimate, will, and similar expressions. By their nature, these types of statements are uncertain and are not guarantees of our future performance.
Our forward-looking statements represent our estimates and expectations at the time that we make them. However, circumstances change constantly, often unpredictably, and investors should not place undue reliance on these statements. Many events beyond our control will determine whether our expectations will be realized. We disclaim any current intention or obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, or the factors that may affect their realization, whether in light of new information, future events or otherwise, and investors should not rely on us to do so. In the interests of our investors, and in accordance with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors below explains some of the important reasons that actual results may be materially different from those that we anticipate.
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR FORM 10-K
Monsanto Company, along with its subsidiaries, is a leading global provider of agricultural products for farmers. Our seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming, and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals.
We manage our business in two segments: Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. We view our Seeds and Genomics segment as the driver for future growth for our company. In our Agricultural Productivity segment, global glyphosate producers have substantial capacity to supply the market and we expect this global capacity to maintain pressure on margins.
We provide information about our business, including analyses, significant news releases, and other supplemental information, on our Web site: www.monsanto.com. In addition, we make available through our Web site, free of charge, our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been filed with or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forms 3, 4 and 5 filed with respect to our equity securities under Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act are also available on our site by the end of the business day after filing. All of these materials can be found under the Investors tab. Our Web site also includes the following corporate governance materials, under the tab Corporate Responsibility: our Code of Business Conduct, our Code of Ethics for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers, our Board of Directors Charter and Corporate Governance Guidelines, and charters of our Board committees. These materials are also available on paper. Any shareowner may request them by contacting the Office of the General Counsel, Monsanto Company, 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri, 63167. Information on our Web site does not constitute part of this report.
A description of our business follows.
Through our Seeds and Genomics segment, we produce leading seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis, and De Ruiter, and we develop biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds. We also provide other seed companies with genetic material and biotechnology traits for their seed brands. The tabular information about net sales of our seeds and traits that appears in Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) Seeds and Genomics Segment is incorporated herein by reference.
Distribution of Products
We have a worldwide distribution and sales and marketing organization for our seeds and traits. We sell our products under Monsanto brands and license technology and genetic material to others for sale under their own brands. Through distributors, independent retailers and dealers, agricultural cooperatives, and agents, we market our DEKALB, Asgrow and Deltapine branded germplasm to farmers in every agricultural region of the world. In the United States, we market regional seed brands under our American Seeds, LLC and Channel Bio, LLC businesses to farmers directly, as well as through dealers, agricultural cooperatives and agents. In countries where they are approved for sale, we market and sell our trait technologies with our branded germplasm, pursuant to license agreements with our farmer customers. In Brazil and Paraguay, we have implemented a point-of-delivery, grain-based payment system. We contract with grain handlers to collect applicable trait fees when farmers deliver their grain. In addition to selling our products under our own brands, we license a broad package of germplasm and trait technologies to large and small seed companies in the United States and certain international markets. Those seed companies in turn market our trait technologies in their branded germplasm; they may also market our germplasm under their own brand name. Our vegetable seeds are predominantly marketed under either the Seminis or De Ruiter brand in more than 150 countries either directly to farmers or through distributors, independent retailers and dealers, agricultural cooperatives, plant raisers and agents.
The global market for the products of our Seeds and Genomics segment is competitive, and the competition has intensified. Both our row crops and our vegetable seed businesses compete with numerous multinational agrichemical and seed marketers globally and with hundreds of smaller companies regionally. With the exception of competitors in our Seminis and De Ruiter vegetable seed business, most of our seed competitors are also licensees of our germplasm or biotechnology traits. In certain countries, we also compete with government-owned seed companies. Our biotechnology traits compete as a system with other practices, including the application of agricultural chemicals, and traits developed by other companies. Our weed- and insect-control systems compete with chemical and seed products produced by other agrichemical and seed marketers. Competition for the discovery of new traits based on biotechnology or genomics is likely to come from major global agrichemical companies, smaller biotechnology research companies and institutions, state-funded programs and academic institutions. Enabling technologies to enhance biotechnology trait development may also come from academic researchers and biotechnology research companies. Competitors using our technology outside of license terms and farmers who save seed from one year to the next (in violation of license or other commercial terms) also affect competitive conditions.
Product performance (in particular, crop vigor and yield for our row crops and quality for our vegetable seeds), customer support and service, intellectual property rights and protection, product availability and planning and price are important elements of our market success in seeds. In addition, distributor, retailer and farmer relationships are important in the United States and many other countries. The primary factors underlying the competitive success of traits are performance and commercial viability; timeliness of introduction; value compared with other practices and products; market coverage; service provided to distributors, retailers and farmers; governmental approvals; value capture; public acceptance; and environmental characteristics.
Patents, Trademarks and Licenses
In the United States and many foreign countries, Monsanto holds a broad business portfolio of patents, trademarks and licenses that provide intellectual property protection for its seeds and genomics-related products and processes. Monsanto routinely obtains patents and/or plant variety protection for its breeding technology, commercial varietal seed products, and for the parents of its commercial hybrid seed products. Monsanto also routinely obtains registrations for its commercial seed products in registration countries, as well as Plant Variety Protection Act Certificates in the United States and equivalent plant breeders rights in other countries. In soybeans, while Monsantos patent coverage on the first generation Roundup Ready soybean product has expired in some markets and will expire in the United States in 2014, most of our customers and licensees are choosing our second generation Roundup Ready 2 Yield trait containing soybean seed with patents that extend into the next decade. In Brazil, we expect farmers to adopt our next generation Intacta RR2 PRO soybean traits when available, which will also have patent coverage extending into the next decade. In corn, patent coverage on our first generation YieldGard trait has already expired in some markets and will expire in 2014 in the United States; however, most farmers have already upgraded to next generation Genuity corn traits with patent coverage extending into the next decade. In cotton, most growers globally are already using our second generation traits with patent coverage extending into the next decade.
Monsanto broadly licenses technology and patents to other parties. For example, Monsanto has licensed the Roundup Ready trait in soybean, corn, canola and cotton seeds and the YieldGard traits in corn to a wide range of commercial entities and academic institutions. Monsanto also holds licenses from other parties relating to certain products and processes. For example, Monsanto has obtained licenses to certain technologies that it uses to produce Roundup Ready seeds and Genuity SmartStax corn. These licenses generally last for the lifetime of the applicable patents.
Monsanto owns trademark registrations and files trademark applications for the names and for many of the designs used on its branded products around the world. Important company trademarks include Roundup Ready, Bollgard, Bollgard II, YieldGard, Genuity, Roundup Ready 2 Yield and SmartStax for traits; Acceleron for seed treatment products; DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine and Vistive for row crop seeds; and Seminis and De Ruiter for vegetable seeds.
Raw Materials and Energy Resources
In growing locations throughout the world, we produce directly or contract with third-party growers for corn seed, soybean seed, vegetable seeds, cotton seed, canola seed and other seeds. The availability of seed and the cost of seed production depend primarily on seed yields, weather conditions, grower contract terms and commodity prices. We seek to manage commodity price fluctuations through the use of futures contracts and other hedging instruments. Where practicable, we attempt to minimize the weather risks by producing seed at multiple growing locations and under irrigated conditions. Our Seeds and Genomics segment also purchases the energy we need to process our seed; these energy purchases are managed in conjunction with our Agricultural Productivity segment.
Through our Agricultural Productivity segment, we manufacture Roundup brand herbicides and other herbicides and provide lawn-and-garden herbicide products for the residential market. The tabular information about net sales of agricultural productivity products that appears in Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) Agricultural Productivity Segment is incorporated by reference herein.
Distribution of Products
We have a worldwide distribution and sales and marketing organization for our agricultural productivity products. In some world areas, we use the same distribution and sales and marketing organization for our agricultural productivity products as for our seeds and traits. In other world areas, we have separate distribution and sales and marketing organizations for our agricultural productivity products. We sell our agricultural productivity products through distributors, independent retailers and dealers and agricultural cooperatives. In some cases outside the United States, we sell such products directly to farmers. We also sell certain of the chemical intermediates of our agricultural productivity products to other major agricultural chemical producers, who then market their own branded products to farmers. Certain agricultural productivity products are marketed through The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
We compete with numerous major global manufacturing companies for sales of agricultural herbicides. Competition from local or regional companies may also be significant. Global glyphosate producers have substantial capacity to supply the market and we expect this global capacity to keep margins at low levels. Our lawn-and-garden business has fewer than five significant national competitors and a larger number of regional competitors in the United States. The largest market for our lawn-and-garden herbicides is the United States.
Competitive success in agricultural productivity products depends on price, product performance, the scope of solutions offered to farmers, market coverage, product availability and planning, and the service provided to distributors, retailers and farmers. Our lawn-and-garden herbicides compete on product performance and the brand value associated with our trademark Roundup. For additional information on competition for our agricultural herbicides, see Item 7 MD&A Outlook Agricultural Productivity, which is incorporated by reference herein.
Patents, Trademarks, Licenses, Franchises and Concessions
Monsanto also relies on patent protection for the Agricultural Productivity segment of its business. Patents covering glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup herbicides, have expired in the United States and all other countries. However, some of the patents on Monsanto glyphosate formulations and manufacturing processes in the United States and other countries extend beyond 2015. Monsanto has obtained licenses to chemicals used to make Harness herbicides and holds trademark registrations for the brands under which its chemistries are sold. The most significant trademark in this segment is Roundup. Monsanto owns trademark registrations for numerous variations of Roundup such as for Roundup WeatherMAX.
Monsanto holds (directly or by assignment) numerous phosphate mineral leases issued on behalf of or granted by the U.S. government, the state of Idaho, and private parties. None of these leases are material individually, but are significant in the aggregate because elemental phosphorus is a key raw material for the production of glyphosate-based herbicides. The phosphate mineral leases have varying terms. The leases obtained from the U.S. government are of indefinite duration, subject to the modification of lease terms at 20-year intervals.
Our operations are subject to environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Some of these laws restrict the amount and type of emissions that our operations can release into the environment. Other laws, such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq. (Superfund), can impose liability for the entire cost of cleanup on any former or current site owners or operators or any parties who sent waste to these sites, without regard to fault or to the lawfulness of the original disposal. These laws and regulations may be amended from time to time; they may become more stringent. We are committed to long-term environmental protection and compliance programs that reduce and monitor emissions of hazardous materials into the environment, and to the remediation of identified existing environmental concerns. Although the costs of our compliance with environmental laws and regulations cannot be predicted with certainty, such costs are not expected to have a material adverse effect on our earnings or competitive position. In addition to compliance obligations at our own manufacturing locations and off-site disposal facilities, under the terms of our Sept. 1, 2000, Separation Agreement with Pharmacia (the Separation Agreement), we are required to indemnify Pharmacia for any liability it may have for environmental remediation or other environmental responsibilities that are primarily related to Pharmacias former agricultural and chemicals businesses. For information regarding certain environmental proceedings, see Item 3 Legal Proceedings. See also information regarding environmental liabilities, appearing in Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies, which is incorporated herein by reference.
Raw Materials and Energy Resources
We are a significant purchaser of basic and intermediate raw materials. Typically, we purchase major raw materials and energy through long-term contracts with multiple suppliers. Certain important raw materials are supplied by a few major suppliers. We expect the markets for our raw materials to remain balanced, though pricing may be volatile given the current state of the global economy. Energy is available as required, but pricing is subject to market fluctuations. We seek to manage commodity price fluctuations through the use of futures contracts and other hedging instruments.
Our proprietary technology is used in various global locations to produce the catalysts used in various intermediate steps in the production of glyphosate. We believe capacity is sufficient for our requirements and adequate safety stock inventory reduces the risks associated with production outages. We manufacture and purchase disodium iminodiacetic acid, a key ingredient in the production of glyphosate. We manufacture our global supply of elemental phosphorus, a key raw material for the production of Roundup herbicides. We have multiple mineral rights which, subject to obtaining and maintaining appropriate mining permits, we believe will provide a long term supply of phosphate ore to meet our needs into the foreseeable future. As part of the ongoing course of operating our phosphorus production, we are required to periodically permit new mining leases.
Monsantos expenses for research and development (R&D) were $1,517 million in 2012, $1,386 million in 2011 and $1,205 million in 2010.
For information on seasonality and working capital and backlog practices, see information in Item 7 MD&A Financial Condition, Liquidity, and Capital Resources, which is incorporated herein by reference.
As of Aug. 31, 2012, we employed about 21,500 regular employees worldwide and more than 4,500 temporary employees. The number of temporary employees varies greatly during the year because of the seasonal nature of our business. We believe that relations between Monsanto and its employees are satisfactory.
Although no single customer (including affiliates) represented more than 10 percent of our consolidated worldwide net sales in 2012, our four largest U.S. agricultural distributors and their affiliates represented, in the aggregate, 13 percent of our worldwide net sales and 24 percent of our U.S. net sales. During 2012, one major U.S. distributor and its affiliates represented about 11 percent of the worldwide net sales for our Seeds and Genomics segment, and about 18 percent of the U.S. net sales for our Seeds and Genomics segment.
See Item 1A under the heading Our operations outside the United States are subject to special risks and restrictions, which could negatively affect our results of operations and profitability and Note 27 Segment and Geographic Data, which are incorporated herein by reference. Approximately 45 percent of Monsantos sales, including 41 percent of our Seeds and Genomics segments sales and 57 percent of our Agricultural Productivity segments sales, originated from our legal entities outside the United States during fiscal year 2012.
For information on segment and geographic data, see Item 8 Financial Statements and Supplementary Data Note 27 Segment and Geographic Data, which is incorporated by reference herein.
Competition in seeds and traits and agricultural chemicals has significantly affected, and will continue to affect, our sales.
Many companies engage in research and development of plant biotechnology and breeding and agricultural chemicals, and speed in getting a new product to market can be a significant competitive advantage. Our competitors success could render our existing products less competitive, resulting in reduced sales compared to our expectations or past results. We expect to see increasing competition from agricultural biotechnology firms and from major agrichemical and seed companies. We also expect to face continued competition for our Roundup herbicides and selective herbicides product lines, which could be influenced by trade and industrial policies of foreign countries. The extent to which we can realize cash and gross profit from our business will depend on our ability to: control manufacturing and marketing costs without adversely affecting sales; predict and respond effectively to competitor products, pricing and marketing; provide marketing programs meeting the needs of our customers and of the farmers who are our end users; maintain an efficient distribution system; and develop new products and services with features attractive to our end users.
Efforts to protect our intellectual property rights and to defend claims against us can increase our costs and will not always succeed; any failures could adversely affect sales and profitability or restrict our ability to do business.
Intellectual property rights are crucial to our business, particularly our Seeds and Genomics segment. We endeavor to obtain and protect our intellectual property rights in jurisdictions in which our products are produced or used and in jurisdictions into which our products are imported. Different nations may provide limited rights and inconsistent duration of protection for our products. We may be unable to obtain protection for our intellectual property in key jurisdictions. Even if protection is obtained, competitors, farmers, or others in the chain of commerce may raise legal challenges to our rights or illegally infringe on our rights, including through means that may be difficult to prevent or detect. For example, the practice by some farmers of saving seeds from non-hybrid crops (such as soybeans, canola and cotton) containing our biotechnology traits has prevented and may continue to prevent us from realizing the full value of our intellectual property, particularly outside the United States. In addition, because of the rapid pace of technological change, and the confidentiality of patent applications in some jurisdictions, competitors may be issued patents from applications that were unknown to us prior to issuance. These patents could reduce the value of our commercial or pipeline products or, to the extent they cover key technologies on which we have unknowingly relied, require that we seek to obtain licenses or cease using the technology, no matter how valuable to our business. We cannot assure we would be able to obtain such a license on acceptable terms. The extent to which we succeed or fail in our efforts to protect our intellectual property will affect our costs, sales and other results of operations.
We are subject to extensive regulation affecting our seed biotechnology and agricultural products and our research and manufacturing processes, which affects our sales and profitability.
Regulatory and legislative requirements affect the development, manufacture and distribution of our products, including the testing and planting of seeds containing our biotechnology traits and the import of crops grown from those seeds, and non-compliance can harm our sales and profitability. Obtaining permits for mining and production, and obtaining testing, planting and import approvals for seeds or biotechnology traits can be time-consuming and costly, with no guarantee of success. The failure to receive necessary permits or approvals could have near- and long-term effects on our ability to produce and sell some current and future products. Planting approvals may also include significant regulatory requirements that can limit our sales. Sales of our traits can be affected in jurisdictions where planting has been approved if we have not received approval for the import of crops containing such biotechnology traits by key importing markets. Concern about unintended but unavoidable trace amounts (sometimes called low-level presence) of commercial biotechnology traits in conventional (non-biotechnology) seed, or in the grain or products produced from conventional or organic crops, among other things, could lead to increased regulation or legislation, which may include: liability transfer mechanisms that may include financial protection insurance; possible restrictions or moratoria on testing, planting or use of biotechnology traits; and requirements for labeling and traceability, which requirements may cause food processors and food companies to avoid biotechnology and select non-biotechnology crop sources and can affect farmer seed purchase decisions and the sale of our products. Further, the detection of the presence of biotech traits not approved in the country of planting (sometimes called adventitious presence) may affect seed availability or result in compliance actions, such as crop destruction or product recalls. Legislation encouraging or discouraging the planting of specific crops can also harm our sales. In addition, concern and claims that increased use of glyphosate-based herbicides or biotechnology traits increases the potential for the development of glyphosate-resistant weeds or pests resistant to our traits could result in restrictions on the use of glyphosate-based herbicides or seeds containing our traits or otherwise reduce our sales.
The degree of public acceptance or perceived public acceptance of our biotechnology products can affect our sales and results of operations by affecting planting approvals, regulatory requirements and customer purchase decisions.
Although all of our products go through rigorous testing, some opponents of our technology actively raise public concern about the potential for adverse effects of our products on human or animal health, other plants and the environment. The potential for adventitious presence of commercial biotechnology traits in conventional seed, or in the grain or products produced from conventional or organic crops, is another factor that can affect general public acceptance of these traits. Public concern can affect the timing of, and whether we are able to obtain, government approvals. Even after approvals are granted, public concern may lead to increased regulation or legislation or litigation against government regulators concerning prior regulatory approvals, which could affect our sales and results of operations by affecting planting
approvals, and may adversely affect sales of our products to farmers, due to their concerns about available markets for the sale of crops or other products derived from biotechnology. In addition, opponents of agricultural biotechnology have attacked farmers fields and facilities used by agricultural biotechnology companies, and may launch future attacks against farmers fields and our field testing sites and research, production, or other facilities, which could affect our sales and our costs.
The successful development and commercialization of our pipeline products will be necessary for our growth.
We use advanced breeding technologies to produce hybrids and varieties with superior performance in the farmers field, and we use biotechnology to introduce traits that enhance specific characteristics of our crops. The processes of breeding, biotechnology trait discovery and development and trait integration are lengthy, and a very small percentage of the genes and germplasm we test is selected for commercialization. There are a number of reasons why a new product concept may be abandoned, including greater than anticipated development costs, technical difficulties, regulatory obstacles, competition, inability to prove the original concept, lack of demand and the need to divert focus, from time to time, to other initiatives with perceived opportunities for better returns. The length of time and the risk associated with the breeding and biotech pipelines are interlinked because both are required as a package for commercial success in markets where biotech traits are approved for growers. In countries where biotech traits are not approved for widespread use, our sales depend on our germplasm. Commercial success frequently depends on being the first company to the market, and many of our competitors are also making considerable investments in similar new biotechnology or improved germplasm products. Consequently, if we are not able to fund extensive research and development activities and deliver new products to the markets we serve on a timely basis, our growth and operations will be harmed.
Adverse outcomes in legal proceedings could subject us to substantial damages and adversely affect our results of operations and profitability.
We are involved in major lawsuits concerning intellectual property, biotechnology, torts, contracts, antitrust allegations, and other matters, as well as governmental inquiries and investigations, the outcomes of which may be significant to results of operations in the period recognized or limit our ability to engage in our business activities. While we have insurance related to our business operations, it may not apply to or fully cover any liabilities we incur as a result of these lawsuits. In addition, pursuant to the Separation Agreement, we are required to indemnify Pharmacia for certain liabilities related to its former chemical and agricultural businesses. We have recorded reserves for potential liabilities where we believe the liability to be probable and reasonably estimable. However, our actual costs may be materially different from this estimate. The degree to which we may ultimately be responsible for the particular matters reflected in the reserve is uncertain.
Our operations outside the United States are subject to special risks and restrictions, which could negatively affect our results of operations and profitability.
We engage in manufacturing, seed production, research and development and sales in many parts of the world. Although we have operations in virtually every region, our sales outside the United States in fiscal year 2012 were principally to customers in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and India. Accordingly, developments in those parts of the world generally have a more significant effect on our operations than developments in other places. Our operations outside the United States are subject to special risks and restrictions, including: fluctuations in currency values and foreign-currency exchange rates; exchange control regulations; changes in local political or economic conditions; governmental pricing directives; import and trade restrictions; import or export licensing requirements and trade policy; restrictions on the ability to repatriate funds; and other potentially detrimental domestic and foreign governmental practices or policies affecting U.S. companies doing business abroad. Acts of terror or war may impair our ability to operate in particular countries or regions, and may impede the flow of goods and services between countries. Customers in weakened economies may be unable to purchase our products, or it could become more expensive for them to purchase imported products in their local currency, or sell their commodity at prevailing international prices, and we may be unable to collect receivables from such customers. Further, changes in exchange rates may affect our net income, the book value of our assets outside the United States, and our shareowners equity.
In the event of any diversion of managements attention to matters related to acquisitions or any delays or difficulties encountered in connection with integrating acquired operations, our business, and in particular our results of operations and financial condition, may be harmed.
We have recently completed acquisitions and we expect to make additional acquisitions. We must fit such acquisitions into our long-term growth strategies to generate sufficient value to justify their cost. Acquisitions also present other challenges, including geographical coordination, personnel integration and retention of key management personnel, systems integration and the reconciliation of corporate cultures. Those operations could divert managements attention from our business or cause a temporary interruption of or loss of momentum in our business and the loss of key personnel from the acquired companies.
Fluctuations in commodity prices can increase our costs and decrease our sales.
We contract production with multiple growers at fair value and retain the seed in inventory until it is sold. These purchases constitute a significant portion of the manufacturing costs for our seeds. Additionally, our chemical manufacturing operations use chemical intermediates and energy, which are subject to increases in price as the costs of oil and natural gas increase. Accordingly, increases in commodity prices may negatively affect our cost of goods sold or cause us to increase seed or chemical prices, which could adversely affect our sales. We use hedging strategies, and most of our raw material supply agreements contain escalation factors, designed to mitigate the risk of short-term changes in commodity prices. However, we are unable to avoid the risk of medium- and long-term increases. Farmers incomes are also affected by commodity prices; as a result, fluctuations in commodity prices could have a negative effect on their ability to purchase our seed and chemical products.
Compliance with quality controls and regulations affecting our manufacturing may be costly, and failure to comply may result in decreased sales, penalties and remediation obligations.
Because we use hazardous and other regulated materials in our manufacturing processes and engage in mining operations, we are subject to operational risks including the potential for unintended environmental contamination, which could lead to potential personal injury claims, remediation expenses and penalties. Should a catastrophic event occur at any of our facilities, we could face significant reconstruction or remediation costs, penalties, third party liability and loss of production capacity, which could affect our sales. In addition, lapses in quality or other manufacturing controls could affect our sales and result in claims for defective products.
Our ability to match our production to the level of product demanded by farmers or our licensed customers has a significant effect on our sales, costs, and growth potential.
Farmers decisions are affected by market, economic and weather conditions that are not known in advance. Failure to provide distributors with enough inventories of our products will reduce our current sales. However, product inventory levels at our distributors may reduce sales in future periods, as those distributor inventories are worked down. In addition, inadequate distributor liquidity could affect distributors abilities to pay for our products and, therefore, affect our sales or our ability to collect on our receivables. Global glyphosate producers have substantial capacity to supply the market and we expect this global capacity will impact the selling price and margin of Roundup brands and our third party sourcing business.
Our ability to issue short-term debt to fund our cash flow requirements and the cost of such debt may affect our financial condition.
We regularly extend credit to our customers in certain areas of the world to enable them to acquire crop production products and seeds at the beginning of their growing seasons. Because of these credit practices and the seasonality of our sales, we may need to issue short-term debt at certain times of the year to fund our cash flow requirements. The amount of short-term debt will be greater to the extent that we are unable to collect customer receivables when due and to manage our costs and expenses. Any downgrade in our credit rating, or other limitation on our access to short-term financing or refinancing, would increase our interest cost and adversely affect our profitability.
Weather, natural disasters and accidents may significantly affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Weather and field conditions can adversely affect the timing of crop planting, acreage planted, crop yields and commodity prices. In turn, seed production volumes, quality and cost may also be adversely affected which could impact our sales and profitability. Natural disasters or industrial accidents could also affect our manufacturing facilities, or those of our major suppliers or major customers, which could affect our costs and our ability to meet supply requirements. One of our
major U.S. glyphosate manufacturing facilities is located in Luling, Louisiana, which is an area subject to hurricanes. In addition, several of our key raw material and utility suppliers have production assets in the U.S. gulf coast region and are also susceptible to damage risk from hurricanes. Hawaii, which is also subject to hurricanes, is a major seeds and traits location for our pipeline products.
At Aug. 31, 2012, there were no unresolved comments from the staff of the SEC related to our periodic or current reports under the Exchange Act.
We and our subsidiaries own or lease manufacturing facilities, laboratories, seed production and other agricultural facilities, office space, warehouses, and other land parcels in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Our general offices, which we own, are located in St. Louis County, Missouri. These office and research facilities are principal properties.
Additional principal properties used by the Seeds and Genomics segment include seed production and conditioning plants at Boone, Grinnell and Williamsburg, Iowa; Constantine, Michigan; Enkhuizen and Bergschenhoek, Netherlands; Illiopolis, Waterman and Farmer City, Illinois; Remington, Indiana; Kearney and Waco, Nebraska; Oxnard, California; Peyrehorade and Trèbes, France; Rojas, Argentina; Sinesti, Romania; Uberlândia, Brazil; Thobontle, South Africa; and Hyderabad, India, and research sites at Ankeny, Iowa; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Maui, Molokai and Oahu, Hawaii; Middleton, Wisconsin; Mystic, Connecticut; and Woodland, California. We own all of these properties, except the one in Maui. The Seeds and Genomics segment also uses seed foundation and production facilities, breeding facilities, and genomics and other research laboratories at various other locations worldwide.
The Agricultural Productivity segment has principal chemicals manufacturing facilities at Antwerp, Belgium; Camaçari, Brazil; Luling, Louisiana; Muscatine, Iowa; São José dos Campos, Brazil; Soda Springs, Idaho; and Zárate, Argentina. We own all of these properties, except the one in Antwerp, Belgium, which is subject to a lease for the land underlying the facility.
We believe that our principal properties are suitable and adequate for their use. Our facilities generally have sufficient capacity for our existing needs and expected near-term growth. Expansion projects are undertaken as necessary to meet future needs. Use of these facilities may vary with seasonal, economic and other business conditions, but none of the principal properties is substantially idle. In certain instances, we have leased portions of sites not required for current operations to third parties.
We are involved in various legal proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of our business, as well as proceedings that we have considered to be material under SEC regulations. These include proceedings to which we are party in our own name and proceedings to which our former parent Pharmacia Corporation or its former subsidiary Solutia Inc. is a party but that we manage and for which we are responsible. Information regarding certain material proceedings and the possible effects on our business of proceedings we are defending is disclosed in Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies under the subheading Environmental and Litigation Liabilities Litigation and is incorporated by reference herein. Following is information regarding other material proceedings for which we are responsible.
Patent and Commercial Proceedings
On Dec. 23, 2008, we entered into a dispute resolution process with Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. (Pioneer), a wholly owned subsidiary of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), to address issues regarding the unauthorized use of our proprietary technology. Pioneer has announced plans to combine or stack their Optimum ® GAT ® trait in soybeans with our patented first generation Roundup Ready technology, contrary to their previously disclosed plans to discontinue use of soybean varieties containing our technology and pursue the Optimum® GAT® trait alone. We believe that Pioneer is not authorized to make this genetic
combination, and we are seeking to prevent non-consensual use of our proprietary technology. On May 4, 2009, following unsuccessful discussions, Monsanto filed suit against DuPont and Pioneer in Federal District Court in St. Louis asserting patent infringement and breach of contract claims to prevent the unauthorized use of our Roundup Ready technology in corn and soybeans. On June 16, 2009, the defendants filed an answer and counterclaim seeking injunctive relief, damages and specific performance asserting a claim of license as well as the invalidity or unenforceability of the patent asserted by Monsanto, and also claiming alleged anticompetitive behavior relating to traits for corn and soybeans. The court, on Sept. 16, 2009, severed the antitrust defense interposed by DuPont for a separate, subsequent trial following our case for patent infringement and license breach. On Oct. 23, 2009, the Court heard our motion for judgment on the pleadings to declare DuPont and Pioneer in breach of their corn and soybean licensing agreements with us. On Jan. 15, 2010, the Court granted our motion declaring that DuPont and Pioneer are not licensed to create a product containing Roundup Ready and Optimum® GAT® traits stacked in combination. On Dec. 21, 2011, the Court issued an order granting Monsanto certain relief. The Courts ruling has been filed under seal. On Aug. 1, 2012, the jury returned its verdict in the patent trial finding Monsantos patent was valid and willfully infringed and awarded damages to Monsanto of $1 billion. Post trial motions remain to be filed and ruled upon before a final judgment is entered. The antitrust claims remain for trial commencing Oct. 15, 2013. We believe we have meritorious legal positions and will continue to represent our interests vigorously in this matter.
Two purported class action suits were filed against us on Sept. 26, 2006, supposedly on behalf of all farmers who purchased our Roundup brand herbicides in the United States for commercial agricultural purposes since Sept. 26, 2002. Plaintiffs essentially allege that we have monopolized the market for glyphosate for commercial agricultural purposes. Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages and injunctive relief. In late February 2007, three additional suits were filed, alleging similar claims. All of these suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. On July 18, 2007, the court ruled that any such suit had to be filed in federal or state court in Missouri; the court granted our motion to dismiss the two original cases. On Aug. 8, 2007, plaintiffs in the remaining three cases voluntarily dismissed their complaints, which have not been re-filed. On Aug. 10, 2007, the same set of counsel filed a parallel action in federal court in San Antonio, Texas, on behalf of a retailer of glyphosate named Texas Grain. Plaintiffs seek to certify a national class of all entities that purchased glyphosate directly from us since August 2003. The magistrate judge issued his recommendation to the District Court on Aug. 7, 2009, denying class certification and the litigation has remained dormant since that event. We believe we have meritorious legal positions and will continue to represent our interests vigorously in this matter.
Governmental Proceedings and Undertakings
On May 25, 2011, the EPA issued a Notice of Violation to us, alleging violations of federal environmental release reporting requirements at our phosphorous manufacturing plant in Soda Springs, Idaho. The EPA has asserted that the alleged violations may subject us to civil penalties. We are working with the EPA to reach a resolution of this manner.
Securities and Derivatives Proceedings
On July 29, 2010, a purported class action suit, styled Rochester Laborers Pension Fund v. Monsanto Co., et al., was filed against us and three of our past and present executive officers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The suit alleged that defendants violated the federal securities laws by making false or misleading statements between Jan. 7, 2009, and May 27, 2010, regarding our earnings guidance for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 and the anticipated future performance of our Roundup business. On Nov. 1, 2010, the Court appointed the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System as lead plaintiff in the action. On Jan. 31, 2011, lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint against us and four of our past and present executive officers in the same action. The amended complaint alleged that defendants violated the federal securities laws by making false and misleading statements during the same time period, regarding our earnings guidance for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 as well as the anticipated future performance of our Roundup business and our Seeds and Genomics business. Lead plaintiff claimed that these statements artificially inflated the price of our stock and that purchasers of our stock during the relevant period were damaged when the stock price later declined. Lead plaintiff sought the award of unspecified amount of damages on behalf of the alleged class, counsel fees and costs. On Apr. 1, 2011, defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. On June 14, 2011, lead plaintiff filed its opposition to the motion, and defendants reply thereto was filed on Aug. 12, 2011. On Dec. 12, 2011, lead plaintiff moved to supplement the record on the motion to dismiss with facts concerning the SEC investigation of our financial reporting associated with customer incentive programs for glyphosate products and our restatement of our financial results for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 and certain quarters of fiscal year 2011. On Jan. 5, 2012, the Court denied lead plaintiffs motion to supplement the record. On Jan. 20, 2012, lead plaintiff sought leave to amend its complaint, which the Court granted on Jan. 31, 2012. The second amended complaint repeated the allegations and claims in the amended complaint regarding our earnings guidance for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 and our statements relating to the anticipated future performance of our Roundup business and Seeds and Genomics business. The second amended complaint added allegations and claims related to the November 2011 restatement of our financial results for
fiscal years 2009 and 2010 and our purported failure to disclose the adoption of customer incentive programs to drive Roundup sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009. On Feb. 29, 2012, defendants moved to dismiss the second amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Lead plaintiff filed its opposition to the motion on Apr. 6, 2012, and defendants filed a reply on Apr. 27, 2012. On Aug. 1, 2012, the Court granted defendants motion to dismiss the second amended complaint with prejudice and entered judgment in favor of defendants. The lead plaintiff failed to appeal from the Courts judgment, which is now final and non-appealable.
On Aug. 4 and 5, 2010, two purported derivative suits styled Espinoza v. Grant, et al. and Clark v. Grant, et al., were filed on our behalf against our directors and three of our past and present executive officers in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri. Asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste and unjust enrichment, plaintiffs allege that our directors themselves made or allowed Monsanto to make the same allegedly false and misleading statements pertaining to the anticipated future performance of our Roundup business that are at issue in the purported class action. Plaintiffs also assert a claim arising out of the acceleration of certain stock options held by one of our former executive officers upon his retirement, as well as a claim based on one directors sale of Monsanto stock while allegedly in possession of material, non-public information relating to our earnings guidance. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and the award of unspecified amounts of damages and restitution for Monsanto, counsel fees and costs. Plaintiffs moved for an order consolidating the Espinoza and Clark actions and appointing lead and liaison counsel. On Mar. 11, 2011, the Court approved the parties stipulation with respect to this motion and consolidated the two actions. Defendants moved for a stay of these actions in favor of the proposed federal securities class action (described above) and the federal derivative action (described below). On Mar. 11, 2011, the Court approved the parties stipulation with respect to this motion and stayed the consolidated actions pending resolution of motions to dismiss expected to be filed in the federal actions, subject to specified exceptions. On Sept. 27, 2012, the parties submitted a stipulation of dismissal, and the Court approved the dismissal of the consolidated derivative actions without prejudice and with each side bearing its own fees, costs and expenses.
Another purported derivative action styled Kurland v. AtLee, et al., was filed on our behalf against our directors in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, unjust enrichment and insider selling and misappropriation under Delaware law, the complaint contains allegations similar to the two state court derivative actions described above relating to the same allegedly false and misleading statements and a directors sale of shares, and adds allegations relating to a senior executives sale of Monsanto stock while allegedly in possession of material, non-public information. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and the award of unspecified amounts of compensatory and exemplary damages, counsel fees and costs. On Sept. 3, 2010, defendants in the securities class action described above moved for consolidation and coordination of that action with the Kurland derivative action. On Sept. 28, 2010, the Court denied this motion, but stated that pretrial coordination of the federal actions should occur. On Oct. 11, 2010, a second purported derivative action styled Stone v. Bachmann, et al., was filed in the same federal district court on our behalf against certain of our directors. The allegations made and relief sought in the action are substantially similar to the allegations made and relief sought in the Kurland action. On Oct. 13, 2010, a third purported derivative action, styled Fagin v. AtLee, et al., was filed on our behalf against our directors in the same federal district court. The allegations made and relief sought in the Fagin action are substantially similar to the allegations made and relief sought in both the Kurland and Stone actions. The parties in these three derivative actions stipulated to their consolidation for all purposes and to the filing of a consolidated complaint, and the Court approved their stipulation on Nov. 30, 2010. The parties thereafter filed an agreed motion for a stay of the consolidated derivative action until thirty days after (a) the Court in the proposed securities class action enters an order dismissing lead plaintiffs amended complaint in that action without leave to amend or (b) defendants in the proposed securities class action answer lead plaintiffs amended complaint. On Feb. 28, 2011, the Court granted the agreed motion for a stay. On Sept. 10, 2012, the parties filed a joint status report in which they advised the Court that plaintiffs had determined that, following the dismissal of the federal securities class action discussed above, it was no longer in Monsantos interest to pursue the derivative claims. On Sept. 28, 2012, the parties submitted a stipulation of dismissal, and the Court approved the dismissal of the consolidated derivative actions without prejudice and with each side bearing its own fees, costs and expenses.
See Part III Item 10 of this Report on Form 10-K for information about our Executive Officers.
Monsantos common stock is traded principally on the New York Stock Exchange, under the symbol MON. The number of shareowners of record as of Oct. 15, 2012, was 36,134.
On June 27, 2006, the board of directors approved a two-for-one split of the companys common shares. The additional shares resulting from the stock split were paid on July 28, 2006, to shareowners of record on July 7, 2006. All share and per share information herein reflects this stock split.
The original dividend rate adopted by the board of directors following the initial public offering (IPO) in October 2000 was $0.06. The board of directors increased the companys quarterly dividend rate in April 2003 to $0.065, in May 2004 to $0.0725, in December 2004 to $0.085, in December 2005 to $0.10, in December 2006 to $0.125, in August 2007 to $0.175, in June 2008 to $0.24, in January 2009 to $0.265, in August 2010 to $0.28, in August 2011 to $0.30 and in August 2012 to $0.375.
The following table sets forth dividend declarations, as well as the high and low sales prices for Monsantos common stock, for the fiscal years 2012 and 2011 quarters indicated.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table summarizes purchases of equity securities during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 by Monsanto and affiliated purchasers, pursuant to SEC rules.
In June 2010, the board of directors authorized a repurchase program of up to $1 billion of the companys common stock over a three-year period beginning July 1, 2010. This repurchase program commenced Aug. 24, 2010.
In June 2012, the board of directors authorized a new three-year repurchase program of up to an additional $1 billion of the companys common stock. There were no other publicly announced plans outstanding as of Aug. 31, 2012.
We voluntarily made a rescission offer to our Savings and Investment Plan (SIP) participants. The rescission offer expired on July 27, 2012, and total resulting payments of less than $1 million were completed in fiscal year 2012. Upon expiration of the rescission offer, all redeemable shares were reclassified within shareowners equity. We filed a new registration statement on Form S-8 on June 22, 2012, to register offers and sales under the Monsanto SIP.
Stock Price Performance Graph
The graph below compares the performance of Monsantos common stock with the performance of the Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index (a broad-based market index) and a peer group index over a 60-month period extending through the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The graph assumes that $100 was invested on Sept. 1, 2007, in our common stock, in the Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index and the peer group index, and that all dividends were reinvested.
Because we are involved both in the agricultural products business and in the seeds and genomics business, no published peer group accurately mirrors our portfolio of businesses. Accordingly, we created a peer group index that includes Bayer AG ADR, Dow Chemical Company, DuPont (E.I.) de Nemours and Company, BASF AG and Syngenta AG. The Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index and the peer group index are included for comparative purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect managements opinion that such indices are an appropriate measure of the relative performance of the stock involved, and they are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock.
In accordance with the rules of the SEC, the information contained in the Stock Price Performance Graph on this page shall not be deemed to be soliciting material, or to be filed with the SEC or subject to the SECs Regulation 14A, or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, except to the extent that Monsanto specifically requests that the information be treated as soliciting material or specifically incorporates it by reference into a document filed under the Securities Act, or the Exchange Act.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA(1)
See Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for information regarding the factors that have affected or may affect the comparability of our business results.
Monsanto Company, along with its subsidiaries, is a leading global provider of agricultural products for farmers. Our seeds, biotechnology trait products, and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming, and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals.
We manage our business in two segments: Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. Through our Seeds and Genomics segment, we produce leading seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis and De Ruiter, and we develop biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds. We also provide other seed companies with genetic material and biotechnology traits for their seed brands. Through our Agricultural Productivity segment, we manufacture Roundup and Harness brand herbicides and other herbicides. Approximately 45 percent of our total company sales, 41 percent of our Seeds and Genomics segment sales, and 57 percent of our Agricultural Productivity segment sales originated from our legal entities outside the United States during fiscal year 2012.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, we entered into an agreement to divest the animal agricultural products business (the Dairy business). This transaction was consummated on Oct. 1, 2008. As a result, financial data for this business has been presented as discontinued operations as outlined below. The financial statements have been prepared in compliance with the provisions of the Property, Plant and Equipment topic of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC). Accordingly, for all periods presented herein, the Statements of Consolidated Operations and Consolidated Financial Position have been conformed to this presentation. The Dairy business was previously reported as part of the Agricultural Productivity segment.
This MD&A should be read in conjunction with Monsantos consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. The notes to the consolidated financial statements referred to throughout this MD&A are included in Part II Item 8 Financial Statements and Supplementary Data of this Report on Form 10-K. Unless otherwise indicated, earnings per share and per share mean diluted earnings per share. Unless otherwise noted, all amounts and analyses are based on continuing operations.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
MD&A includes financial information prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as well as two other financial measures, EBIT and free cash flow, that are considered non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a companys financial performance, financial position or cash flows that exclude (or include) amounts that are included in (or excluded from) the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. The presentation of EBIT and free cash flow information is intended to supplement investors understanding of our operating performance and liquidity. Our EBIT and free cash flow measures may not be comparable to other companies EBIT and free cash flow measures. Furthermore, these measures are not intended to replace net income (loss), cash flows, financial position, or comprehensive income (loss), as determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP.
EBIT is defined as earnings (loss) before interest and taxes. Earnings (loss) is intended to mean net income (loss) as presented in the Statements of Consolidated Operations under GAAP. EBIT is an operating performance measure for our two business segments. We believe that EBIT is useful to investors and management to demonstrate the operational profitability of our segments by excluding interest and taxes, which are generally accounted for across the entire company on a consolidated basis. EBIT is also one of the measures used by Monsanto management to determine resource allocations within the company. See Note 27 Segment and Geographic Data for a reconciliation of EBIT to net income (loss) for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010.
We also provide information regarding free cash flow, an important liquidity measure for Monsanto. We define free cash flow as the total of net cash provided or required by operating activities and net cash provided or required by investing activities. We believe that free cash flow is useful to investors and management as a measure of the ability of our business to generate cash. This cash can be used to meet business needs and obligations, to reinvest in the company for future growth, or to return to our shareowners through dividend payments or share repurchases. Free cash flow is also used by management as one of the performance measures in determining incentive compensation. See the Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources Cash Flow section of MD&A for a reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities and net cash required by investing activities on the Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows.
Consolidated Operating Results Net sales in 2012 increased $1,682 million from 2011. The increase was primarily a result of increased sales of corn seed and traits in the United States, Brazil, Latin America and Europe, as well as increased Agricultural Productivity net sales due to increased volume. Net income attributable to Monsanto Company in 2012 was $3.79 per share, compared with $2.96 per share in 2011.
Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources In 2012, net cash provided by operating activities was $3,051 million, compared with $2,814 million in 2011. Net cash required by investing activities was $1,034 million in 2012, compared with $975 million in 2011. As a result, our free cash flow, as defined in the Overview Non-GAAP Financial Measures section of MD&A, was a source of cash of $2,017 million in 2012, compared with $1,839 million in 2011. The increase was primarily driven by strong collections, increased customer financing activities which further reduced accounts receivable and increased net income in 2012. Also, contributing to this increase were the benefits achieved from our restructuring activities. For a more detailed discussion of the factors affecting the free cash flow comparison, see the Cash Flow section of the Financial Condition, Liquidity and Capital Resources section in this MD&A.
Outlook We plan to continue to innovate and improve our products in order to maintain market leadership and to support near-term performance. We are focused on applying innovation and technology to make our farmer customers more productive and profitable by protecting yields and improving the ways they can produce food, fiber, feed and fuel. We use the tools of modern biology in an effort to make seeds easier to grow, to allow farmers to do more with fewer resources, and to help produce healthier foods for consumers. Our current R&D strategy and commercial priorities are focused on bringing our farmer customers second- and third-generation traits, on delivering multiple solutions in one seed (stacking), and on developing new pipeline products. Our capabilities in biotechnology and breeding research are generating a rich product pipeline that is expected to drive long-term growth. The viability of our product pipeline depends in part on the speed of regulatory approvals globally and on continued patent and legal rights to offer our products.
Roundup herbicides remain the largest crop protection brand globally. We have oriented the focus of Monsantos crop protection business to strategically support Monsantos Roundup Ready crops through our weed management platform that delivers weed control offerings for farmers. We are focused on managing the costs associated with our agricultural chemistry business as that sector matures globally.
See the Outlook section of MD&A for a more detailed discussion of some of the opportunities and risks we have identified for our business. For additional information related to the outlook for Monsanto, see Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements above and Part I Item 1A Risk Factors of this Form 10-K.
New Accounting Pronouncements See Note 3 New Accounting Standards for information on recently issued accounting guidance.
Overview of Financial Performance (2012 compared with 2011)
The following section discusses the significant components of our results of operations that affected the comparison of fiscal year 2012 with fiscal year 2011.
Net sales increased 14 percent in 2012 from 2011. Our Seeds and Genomics segment net sales improved 14 percent, and our Agricultural Productivity segment net sales improved 15 percent. The following table presents the percentage changes in 2012 worldwide net sales by segment compared with net sales in 2011, including the effect that volume, price, currency and acquisitions had on these percentage changes:
For a more detailed discussion of the factors affecting the net sales comparison, see the Seeds and Genomics Segment and the Agricultural Productivity Segment sections.
Gross profit increased 16 percent, or $966 million. Total company gross profit as a percent of net sales increased one percentage point to 52 percent in 2012. Gross profit as a percent of net sales for the Seeds and Genomics segment remained consistent at 62 percent in the 12-month comparison. Gross profit as a percent of net sales for the Agricultural Productivity segment increased three percentage points to 27 percent in the 12-month comparison. See the Seeds and Genomics Segment and Agricultural Productivity Segment sections of MD&A for details.
Operating expenses increased nine percent, or $320 million, in 2012 from 2011. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses increased nine percent primarily because of higher spending for marketing and administrative functions as well as higher incentive compensation. R&D expenses increased nine percent due to an increased investment in our product pipeline and identified intangible impairments of $63 million. See Note 16 Fair Value Measurements for further information. As a percent of net sales, SG&A and R&D expenses decreased one percentage point to 18 percent and 11 percent of net sales, respectively, in 2012.
Interest expense increased 18 percent, or $29 million, in 2012 primarily due to increased customer financing activities, as well as interest expense related to our April 2011 bond issuance.
Other expense net was $46 million in 2012, compared with $40 million in 2011. The current year balance is due to a legal settlement for claims related to a previously owned chemical plant located in Nitro, West Virginia.
Income tax provision for 2012 increased to $901 million, an increase of $184 million from 2011 primarily as a result of the increase in pretax income from continuing operations. The effective tax rate remained consistent at 30 percent in fiscal year 2012 and 2011. Fiscal year 2012 included several tax adjustments resulting in a tax benefit of $47 million. The majority of this benefit resulted from the favorable resolution of tax matters, including legacy matters of $62 million, the expiration of statutes in various jurisdictions, and favorable adjustments from the filing of tax returns, partially offset by deferred tax adjustments and tax reserves established in multiple jurisdictions. Fiscal year 2011 included several tax adjustments resulting in a tax benefit of $17 million. The majority of this benefit resulted from the retroactive extension of the R&D credit pursuant to the enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, favorable return-to-provision true-up adjustments, and the expiration of statutes in several jurisdictions, partially offset by deferred tax adjustments. Without these tax adjustments, our effective tax rate for fiscal year 2012 would have been higher than the 2011 rate primarily driven by a shift in our earnings mix to higher tax rate jurisdictions.
Overview of Financial Performance (2011 compared with 2010)
The following section discusses the significant components of our results of operations that affected the comparison of fiscal year 2011 with fiscal year 2010.
Net sales increased 13 percent in 2011 from 2010. Our Seeds and Genomics segment net sales improved 13 percent, and our Agricultural Productivity segment net sales improved 13 percent. The following table presents the percentage changes in 2011 worldwide net sales by segment compared with net sales in 2010, including the effect that volume, price, currency and acquisitions had on these percentage changes:
Gross profit increased 20 percent, or $1,012 million. Total company gross profit as a percent of net sales increased three percentage points to 51 percent in 2011, driven by increased sales of higher margin corn and cotton seed and traits volumes as well as Roundup price improvements from lower marketing programs and Roundup cost improvements primarily related to production efficiencies. Gross profit as a percent of net sales for the Seeds and Genomics segment increased two percentage points to 62 percent in the 12-month comparison partially due to decreased restructuring charges recorded in cost of goods sold related to inventory impairments over the prior year. Gross profit as a percent of net sales for the Agricultural Productivity segment increased six percentage points to 24 percent in the 12-month comparison because of cost improvements. See the Seeds and Genomics Segment and Agricultural Productivity Segment sections of MD&A for details.
Operating expenses increased three percent, or $113 million, in 2011 from 2010. SG&A expenses increased seven percent primarily because of increased incentive accruals. R&D expenses increased 15 percent due to an increase in activity of our expanded product pipeline as well as increased R&D incentive costs. Restructuring charges decreased by $209 million because the 2009 Restructuring Plan was substantially completed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. As a percent of net sales, SG&A expenses decreased one percentage point to 19 percent of net sales, and R&D expenses increased one percentage point to 12 percent of net sales in 2011.
Interest income increased 32 percent, or $18 million, in 2011 primarily as a result of interest earned through a customer financing entity we consolidated as of Sept. 1, 2010. See Note 8 Variable Interest Entities for further details.
Other expense net was $40 million in 2011, compared with $7 million in 2010. The increase occurred due to increased foreign currency losses in the current year and costs related to a contractual dispute. In addition, fiscal year 2010 included the gain recorded on the Seminium, S.A. (Seminium) acquisition. See Note 4 Business Combinations for further information on the Seminium acquisition.
Income tax provision for 2011 increased to $717 million, an increase of $338 million from 2010 primarily as a result of the increase in pretax income from continuing operations. The effective tax rate increased to 30 percent, an increase of five percentage points from fiscal year 2010. The following items had an impact on the effective tax rate:
Without these items, our effective tax rate for 2011 would have been comparable to the 2010 rate.
Seeds and Genomics Financial Performance for Fiscal Year 2012
Net sales of corn seed and traits increased 21 percent, or $1,009 million, in the 12-month comparison. In 2012, sales improved primarily in the United States, Brazil, Latin America and Europe. The increases in these regions were primarily driven by higher volumes due to an increase in planted acres and stronger customer demand. Net sales of corn seed and traits also improved because of increased trait penetration in Brazil and increased pricing and mix in the United States.
Soybean seed and traits net sales increased 15 percent, or $229 million, in 2012 primarily because of product mix and pricing increases in the United States and increased penetration in Brazil.
Cotton seed and traits net sales decreased eight percent, or $68 million, in 2012. The decrease was primarily a result of a reduction in planted acres in the United States and India. This was partially offset by increased planted acres in Australia.
Vegetable net sales decreased five percent, or $44 million, in 2012. This sales decrease was primarily driven by decreased demand as a result of market weakness in Europe.
All other crops seeds and traits net sales increased 16 percent, or $81 million, in 2012 primarily due to improved sales of canola seed and traits in Canada and the United States and improved sales of alfalfa and sugarbeets in the United States.
Gross profit increased 14 percent for this segment due to increased net sales. Gross profit as a percent of sales for this segment remained consistent at 62 percent in 2012. EBIT for the Seeds and Genomics segment increased $464 million to $2,570 million in 2012.
Seeds and Genomics Financial Performance for Fiscal Year 2011
Net sales of corn seed and traits increased 13 percent, or $545 million, in the 12-month comparison. In 2011, sales improved primarily in Latin America and the United States because of increased volumes due to higher planted acres as well as an increase in higher margin traits.
Cotton seed and traits net sales increased 39 percent, or $236 million, in 2011. This sales increase was driven by an increase in planted acres in the United States, higher cotton commodity prices and favorable weather conditions in Australia, and higher planted acres and improved prices in India.
Gross profit increased 17 percent for this segment due to increased net sales. Gross profit as a percent of sales for this segment increased two percentage points to 62 percent in 2011. In the prior year we recorded inventory impairments of $93 million related to discontinued corn seed products in the United States as part of our 2009 Restructuring Plan which did not reoccur in the current year. See Note 5 Restructuring for further information. Partially offsetting these increases, the average net selling price of corn seed and traits in the United States declined compared to the prior year as we focus on mix for our Genuity Reduced-Refuge Family of products. Further contributing to the gross profit increase, we had increased penetration of higher margin soybean traits as well as increased sales for cotton seed and traits as we experienced increased planted acres and lower sales deductions for grower programs.
EBIT for the Seeds and Genomics segment increased $509 million to $2,106 million in 2011.
Agricultural Productivity Financial Performance for Fiscal Year 2012
Net sales for Agricultural Productivity increased 15 percent, or $475 million, in 2012. The increase was primarily the result of increased sales for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides volume increased 17 percent over the prior year because U.S. distributors elected to purchase Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides closer to the use season in FY12 in comparison to FY11 as well as increased customer demand primarily in the United States, Canada and Brazil. In addition, the average net selling price for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides increased as sales shifted to higher priced branded products in 2012.
The net sales increase resulted in $213 million higher gross profit in 2012. Gross profit as a percent of sales increased three percentage points for the Agricultural Productivity segment to 27 percent when compared to the prior year. This increase was primarily the result of cost improvements related to production efficiencies. EBIT for the Agricultural Productivity segment increased $196 million to $477 million in 2012.
Agricultural Productivity Financial Performance for Fiscal Year 2011
Net sales for Agricultural Productivity increased 13 percent, or $368 million, in 2011. In the 12-month comparison, sales increased primarily for Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides. Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides volume increased four percent due to increased demand primarily in Europe and Argentina. Further, the average net selling price of Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides increased due to lower sales deductions for marketing programs during the current year.
Gross profit as a percent of sales increased six percentage points for the Agricultural Productivity segment to 24 percent in 2011. This increase was primarily because of price improvements from lower marketing programs as well as cost improvements primarily related to production efficiencies.
The sales increases discussed in this section resulted in $244 million higher gross profit in 2011. EBIT for the Agricultural Productivity segment increased $310 million to $281 million in 2011. Contributing to this increase were higher sales volumes and increases in net selling prices due to lower sales deductions.
Restructuring charges were recorded in the Statements of Consolidated Operations as follows:
On June 23, 2009, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan (2009 Restructuring Plan) to take future actions to reduce costs in light of the changing market supply environment for glyphosate. These actions are designed to enable us to stabilize the Agricultural Productivity business and allow it to deliver optimal gross profit and a sustainable level of operating cash in the coming years, while better aligning spending and working capital needs. We also announced that we will take steps to better align the resources of our global seeds and traits business. These actions included certain product and brand rationalization within the seed businesses. On Sept. 9, 2009, we committed to take additional actions related to the previously announced restructuring plan. Furthermore, while implementing the plan, we identified additional opportunities to better align our resources, and on Aug. 26, 2010, committed to take additional actions. The plan was substantially completed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, and the remaining payments were made in fiscal year 2012.
The following table displays the pretax charges of $(10) million, $3 million, and $324 million incurred by segment under the 2009 Restructuring Plan for the fiscal years ended 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively, as well as the cumulative pretax charges of $723 million under the 2009 Restructuring Plan.
In fiscal year 2012, pretax restructuring reversals of $10 million were recorded. Although positions originally included in the plan were eliminated, individuals found new roles within the company due to attrition.
In fiscal year 2011, pretax restructuring charges of $3 million were recorded. The facility closures/exit costs of $29 million relate primarily to the finalization of the termination of a corn toller contract in the United States. In workforce reductions, approximately $13 million of additional charges were offset by $37 million of reserve reversals and $8 million of reversals of additional paid in capital for growth shares and stock options. In asset impairments, property, plant and equipment impairments of $4 million related to certain information technology assets in the United States. Inventory impairments of $2 million were recorded in cost of goods sold related to discontinued corn and sorghum seed products in the United States.
In fiscal year 2010, pretax restructuring charges of $324 million were recorded. The $132 million in work force reductions relate primarily to Europe and the United States. The facility closures/exit costs of $77 million relate primarily to the finalization of the termination of a chemical supply contract in the United States and worldwide entity consolidation costs. In asset impairments, inventory impairments of $106 million recorded in cost of goods sold related to discontinued products worldwide.
The actions related to the overall restructuring plan were expected to produce annual cost savings of $300 million to $340 million, primarily in cost of goods sold and SG&A. Approximately one-fourth of these savings were recognized in fiscal year 2010, with the full benefit realized in 2011.
Working Capital and Financial Condition
Working capital increased $1,357 million between Aug. 31, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2011, primarily because of the following factors:
Backlog: Inventories of finished goods, goods in process, and raw materials and supplies are maintained to meet customer requirements and our scheduled production. As is consistent with the nature of the seed industry, we generally produce in one growing season the seed inventories we expect to sell the following season. In general, we do not manufacture our products against a backlog of firm orders; production is geared to projected demand.
Customer Financing Programs: We participate in customer financing programs as follows:
The gross amount of receivables sold under transactions that qualify for sales treatment were:
In addition to the arrangements in the above table, we also participate in a financing program in Brazil that allowed us to transfer up to 1 billion Brazilian reais (approximately $490 million) for select customers in Brazil to a special purpose entity (SPE), formerly a qualified special purpose entity (QSPE). Under the arrangement, a recourse provision requires us to cover the first 12 percent of credit losses within the program. We have evaluated our relationship with the entity under the updated guidance within the Consolidation topic of the ASC and, as a result, the entity has been consolidated on a prospective basis effective Sept. 1, 2010. For further information on this topic, see Note 8 Variable Interest Entities. Proceeds from customer receivables sold through the financing program and derecognized from the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position totaled $115 million for fiscal year 2010.
There were no significant recourse or non-recourse liabilities for all programs as of Aug. 31, 2012, and 2011. There were no significant delinquent loans for all programs as of Aug. 31, 2012, and 2011.
2012 compared with 2011: In 2012, our free cash flow was a source of cash of $2,017 million, compared with $1,839 million in 2011. Cash provided by operating activities increased eight percent, or $237 million, in 2012. The increase was primarily driven by higher net income of $434 million in the twelve-month comparison from $1,659 million to $2,093 million, an increase in trade receivables, net of $399 million caused mainly by customer financing activities and lower pension contributions of $208 million. These increases were offset by a decrease of $578 million in inventory due to early harvest and increased commodity costs and a decrease in accounts payable and other accrued liabilities of $464 million primarily as a result of increased income tax and incentive compensation payments in 2012.
Cash required by investing activities was $1,034 million in 2012 compared with $975 million in 2011. The increase was primarily driven by increased maturities of short term investments of $316 million offset by capital expenditures increasing $106 million. Additionally, there was an increase of $223 million due to acquisitions. See Note 4 Business Combinations for further discussion of these acquisitions.
The amount of cash required by financing activities was $1,165 million in 2012 compared with $864 million in 2011. The net change in short-term financing was an increased use of cash of $207 million driven by the repayment of short-term debt. Additionally, there was an increase in the repayment of long term debt of $436 million, offset by an increase in the issuance of new long-term debt of $200 million.
2011 compared with 2010: In 2011, our free cash flow was a source of cash of $1,839 million, compared with $564 million in 2010. Cash provided by operating activities increased 101 percent, or $1,416 million, in 2011. The increase was primarily driven by the change in accounts payable and other accrued liabilities of $1,289 million because of higher accrued marketing programs, higher employee incentives and a decrease in cash outflows related to customer payables. In addition, the increase was driven by higher net income of $544 million in the twelve-month comparison from $1,115 million to $1,659 million. The change in accounts receivable of $288 million provided less cash due to increased sales in the current year and increased customer financing activities that occurred in the prior year. These changes were partially offset by an increase in collections during the current year.
Cash required by investing activities was $975 million in 2011 compared with $834 million in 2010. We purchased short-term investments for $732 million in the current year. These purchases were partially offset by $430 million of short-term investments that matured during the current year.
The amount of cash required by financing activities was $864 million in 2011 compared with $1,038 million in 2010. The net change in short-term financing was a source of cash of $79 million in 2011 compared with $22 million in 2010. Further, long-term debt increased $110 million because of the issuance of $300 million in 2.75% Senior Notes in April 2011 which was offset partially by $188 million repayment of debt related to the purchase of the Chesterfield Village Research Center that occurred in the prior year.
Capital Resources and Liquidity
A major source of our liquidity is operating cash flows, which can be derived from net income. This cash-generating capability provides us with the financial flexibility we need to meet operating, investing and financing needs. To the extent that cash provided by operating activities is not sufficient to fund our cash needs, which generally occurs during the first and third quarters of the fiscal year because of the seasonal nature of our business, short-term commercial paper borrowings are sometimes used to finance these requirements. We accessed the commercial paper markets in 2012 for periods of time to finance working capital needs and do not believe our options will be limited in the future. We had no commercial paper borrowings outstanding as of Aug. 31, 2012.
Our August 2012 debt-to-capital ratio decreased one percentage point compared with the August 2011 ratio, primarily because of the increase in shareowners equity and a decrease in debt.
We held cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $3,585 million at Aug. 31, 2012, of which $1,744 million was held by foreign entities. Our intent is to indefinitely reinvest the earnings of our foreign operations and our current operating plans do not demonstrate a need to repatriate foreign earnings to fund our U.S. operations. However, if these funds were needed for our operations in the United States, we would be required to accrue and pay any applicable U.S. and local taxes to repatriate these funds.
Total debt outstanding decreased $147 million between Aug. 31, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012, primarily due to a repayment of $485 million of Senior Notes and a payment of $136 million related to the purchase of the Chesterfield Village Research Center, offset by two issuances of Senior Notes totaling $500 million.
In November 2009, we entered into an agreement to acquire Pfizers Chesterfield Village Research Center located in Chesterfield, Missouri. We acquired the property in April 2010 for $435 million of which $111 million was paid in 2010 and reflected in capital expenditures, $188 million was paid in 2011, and the final purchase installment of $136 million was paid in 2012.
Monsanto has a $2 billion credit facility agreement with a group of banks that provides a senior unsecured revolving credit facility through Apr. 1, 2016. Effective May 31, 2012, the facility was extended one year from Apr. 1, 2015, to Apr. 1, 2016. As of Aug. 31, 2012, Monsanto was in compliance with all debt covenants.
In October 2008, we filed a shelf registration with the SEC (2008 shelf registration) that allowed us to issue an unlimited capacity of debt, equity and hybrid offerings. The 2008 shelf registration expired on Oct. 31, 2011.
In April 2011, we issued $300 million of 2.750% Senior Notes under the 2008 shelf registration, which are due on Apr. 15, 2016 (2016 Senior Notes).
In November 2011, we filed a new shelf registration with the SEC (2011 shelf registration) that allows us to issue an unlimited capacity of debt, equity and hybrid offerings. The 2011 shelf registration will expire in November 2014.
In July 2012, we issued $250 million of 2.200% Senior Notes under the 2011 shelf registration, which are due on July 15, 2022 (2022 Senior Notes).
In July 2012, we issued $250 million of 3.600% Senior Notes under the 2011 shelf registration, which are due on July 15, 2042 (2042 Senior Notes).
Capital Expenditures: Our capital expenditures were $646 million in 2012, $540 million in 2011, and $755 million in 2010. The primary driver of this years increase relates to projects related to our Agricultural Productivity segment and plant expansions in Latin America and Europe. We expect fiscal year 2013 capital expenditures to be $800 million to $1 billion. The primary driver of this increase compared with 2012 is higher overall spending on projects related to our additional corn seed plant expansions in North America, Latin America and Europe.
Healthcare Benefits: We are currently evaluating the impact of the Healthcare Acts. We recorded a tax charge of $8 million in 2010 due to the elimination of the tax benefit associated with the Medicare Part D subsidy included in the Healthcare Acts. We are still evaluating the other impacts from the Healthcare Acts, but we do not expect them to have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements in the short term. The longer term potential impacts of the Healthcare Acts to our consolidated financial statements are currently uncertain. We will continue to assess how the Healthcare Acts apply to us and how best to meet the stated requirements.
Pension Contributions: In addition to contributing amounts to our pension plans if required by pension plan regulations, we continue to also make discretionary contributions if we believe they are merited. Although contributions to the U.S. qualified plan were not required, we contributed $60 million in 2012, $266 million in 2011, and $105 million in 2010. For fiscal year 2013, contributions in the range of $60 million are planned for the U.S. qualified pension plan. Although the level of required future contributions is unpredictable and depends heavily on return on plan asset experience and interest rate levels, we expect to continue contributing to the plan on a regular basis in the near term.
In July 2012, the Surface Transportation Extension Act (the Act), also referred to as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, was passed by Congress and signed by the President. The Act includes pension funding stabilization provisions and specifically will impact the discount rate companies use to determine future funding requirements, which in turn could potentially reduce required pension contributions in the near term. Our fiscal year 2013 contribution range, noted above, takes into account the impact of the provisions of the Act.
Fiscal year 2013 pension expense will be determined using assumptions as of Aug. 31, 2012. Our expected rate of return on assets assumption will remain consistent at 7.50 percent for the U.S. Plan. This assumption was 7.50 percent in 2012, 7.50 percent in 2011, and 7.75 percent in 2010. To determine the rate of return, we consider the historical experience and expected future performance of the plan assets, as well as the current and expected allocation of the plan assets. The U.S. qualified pension plans asset allocation as of Aug. 31, 2012, was approximately 54 percent equity securities, 41 percent debt securities and 5 percent other investments, in line with policy ranges. We periodically evaluate the allocation of plan assets among the different investment classes to ensure that they are within policy guidelines and ranges. Although we do not currently expect to change the assumed rate of return in the near term, holding all other assumptions constant, we estimate that a half-percent decrease in the expected return on plan assets would lower our fiscal year 2013 pre-tax income by approximately $9 million.
Our discount rate assumption for the 2013 U.S. pension expense is 3.44 percent. This assumption was 4.59 percent, 4.35 percent and 5.30 percent in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. In determining the discount rate, we use yields on high-quality fixed-income investments (including among other things, Moodys Aa corporate bond yields) that match the duration of the pension obligations. To the extent the discount rate increases or decreases, our pension obligation is decreased or increased accordingly. Holding all other assumptions constant, we estimate that a half-percent decrease in the discount rate will decrease our fiscal year 2013 pre-tax income by approximately $8 million. Our salary rate assumption as of Aug. 31, 2012, was approximately 4.0 percent. Holding all other assumptions constant, we estimate that a half-percent decrease in the salary rate assumption would increase our fiscal year 2013 pretax income by $3 million.
Share Repurchases: In April 2008, the board of directors authorized a share repurchase program of up to $800 million of our common stock over a three-year period. This repurchase program commenced Dec. 23, 2008, and was completed on Aug. 24, 2010. In 2010 and 2009, we purchased $531 million and $269 million, respectively, of our common stock. A total of 11.3 million shares have been repurchased under the April 2008 program.
In June 2010, the board of directors authorized a repurchase program of up to an additional $1 billion of our common stock over a three-year period beginning July 1, 2010. In 2012, 2011 and 2010, we purchased $432 million, $502 million and $1 million, respectively, of our common stock. A total of 13.7 million shares have been repurchased under the June 2010 program.
In June 2012, the board of directors authorized a new three-year repurchase program of up to an additional $1 billion of the companys common stock. There were no other publicly announced plans outstanding as of Aug. 31, 2012. The timing and number of shares purchased in the future under the repurchase program, if any, depends upon capital needs, market conditions and other factors.
Dividends: We paid dividends totaling $642 million in 2012, $602 million in 2011, and $577 million in 2010. In August 2012, we increased our dividend 25 percent to $0.375 per share.
We continue to review our options for returning value to shareowners, including the possibility of a dividend increase and additional share repurchase programs.
Divestiture: In October 2008, we consummated the sale of the Dairy business after receiving approval from the appropriate regulatory agencies and received $300 million in cash, and may receive additional contingent consideration. The contingent consideration is a 10-year earn-out with potential annual payments being earned by the company if certain revenue levels are exceeded.
2012 Acquisitions: In June 2012, we acquired 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Precision Planting, Inc., a planting technology developer based in Tremont, Illinois. Precision Planting develops technology to improve yields through on-farm planting performance. The acquisition of the company will become part of our Integrated Farming Systems unit, which utilizes advanced agronomic practices, seed genetics and innovative on-farm technology to deliver optimal yield to farmers while using fewer resources. The acquisition of Precision Planting qualifies as a business under the Business Combinations topic of the ASC. The total fair value of the acquisition was $255 million, including contingent consideration of $39 million, and the total cash paid for the acquisition was $209 million (net of cash acquired). The fair value was primarily allocated to goodwill and intangibles. The contingent consideration is to be paid in cash if certain operational and financial milestones are met on or before Aug. 31, 2020, up to a maximum target of $40 million.
In September 2011, we acquired 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Beeologics, a technology start-up business based in Israel, which researches and develops biological tools to provide targeted control of pests and diseases. The acquisition of the company, which qualifies as a business under the Business Combinations topic of the ASC, will allow us to further explore the use of biologicals broadly in agriculture to provide farmers with innovative approaches to the challenges they face. We intend to use the base technology from Beeologics as a part of its continuing discovery and development pipeline. The total cash paid and the fair value of the acquisition was $113 million (net of cash acquired), and it was primarily allocated to goodwill and intangibles.
2011 Acquisitions: In February 2011, we acquired 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Divergence, Inc., a biotechnology research and development company located in St. Louis, Missouri. The total cash paid and the fair value of the acquisition were $71 million, and the purchase price was primarily allocated to intangibles and goodwill.
In December 2010, we acquired 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Pannon Seeds, a seed processing plant located in Hungary, from IKR Production Development and Commercial Corporation. The acquisition of this plant, which qualifies as a business under the Business Combinations topic of the ASC, allows Monsanto to reduce third party seed production in Hungary. The total fair value of the acquisition was $32 million, and the purchase price was primarily allocated to fixed assets and goodwill. This fair value includes $28 million of cash paid (net of cash acquired) and $4 million related to assumed liabilities.
For all acquisitions described above, the business operations and employees of the acquired entities were added into the Seeds and Genomics segment results upon acquisition. These acquisitions were accounted for as purchase transactions. Accordingly, the assets and liabilities of the acquired entities were recorded at their estimated fair values at the dates of the acquisitions. See Note 4 Business Combinations for further discussion of these acquisitions.
Contractual Obligations: We have certain obligations and commitments to make future payments under contracts. The following table sets forth our estimates of future payments under contracts as of Aug. 31, 2012. See Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies for a further description of our contractual obligations.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
Under our Separation Agreement with Pharmacia, we are required to indemnify Pharmacia for certain matters, such as environmental remediation obligations and litigation. To the extent we are currently managing any such matters, we evaluate them in the course of managing our own potential liabilities and establish reserves as appropriate. However, additional matters may arise in the future, and we may manage, settle or pay judgments or damages with respect to those matters in order to mitigate contingent liability and protect Pharmacia and Monsanto. See Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies and Part I Item 3 Legal Proceedings for further information.
We have entered into various customer financing programs which are accounted for in accordance with the Transfers and Servicing topic of the ASC. See Note 7 Customer Financing Programs for further information.
As discussed in Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies and Item 3 Legal Proceedings, Monsanto is responsible for significant environmental remediation and is involved in a number of lawsuits and claims relating to a variety of issues. Many of these lawsuits relate to intellectual property disputes. We expect that such disputes will continue to occur as the agricultural biotechnology industry evolves.
Our fiscal year end of August 31 synchronizes our quarterly and annual results with the natural flow of the agricultural cycle in our major markets. It provides a more complete picture of the North American and South American growing seasons in the same fiscal year. Sales by our Seeds and Genomics segment, and to a lesser extent, by our Agricultural Productivity segment, are seasonal. In fiscal year 2012, approximately 72 percent of our Seeds and Genomics segment sales occurred in the second and third quarters. This segments seasonality is primarily a function of the purchasing and growing patterns in North America. Agricultural Productivity segment sales were more evenly spread across our fiscal year quarters in 2012, with approximately 53 percent of these sales occurring in the second half of the year. Seasonality varies by the world areas where our Agricultural Productivity businesses operate. For example, the United States, Latin America and Europe were the largest contributors to Agricultural Productivity sales in 2012, and experienced most of their sales evenly across our fiscal quarters in 2012.
Net income is the highest in second and third quarters, which correlates with the sales of the Seeds and Genomics segment and its gross profit contribution. Sales and income may shift somewhat between quarters, depending on planting and growing conditions. Our inventory is at its lowest level at the end of our fiscal year, which is consistent with the agricultural cycles in our major markets. Additionally, our trade accounts receivable are at their lowest levels in our fourth quarter, primarily because of collections received on behalf of both segments in the United States and Latin America, and the seasonality of our sales.
As is the practice in our industry, we regularly extend credit to enable our customers to acquire crop protection products and seeds at the beginning of the growing season. Because of the seasonality of our business and the need to extend credit to customers, we sometimes use short-term borrowings to finance working capital requirements. Our need for such financing is generally higher in the first and third quarters of the fiscal year and lower in the second and fourth quarters of the fiscal year. Our customer financing programs are expected to continue to reduce our receivable risk and to reduce our reliance on commercial paper borrowings.
We believe we have achieved an industry-leading position in the areas in which we compete in both of our business segments. However, the outlook for each part of our business is quite different. In the Seeds and Genomics segment, our seeds and traits business is expected to expand via our investment in new products. In the Agricultural Productivity segment, we expect to deliver competitive products in a more steady-state business.
We believe that our company is positioned to deliver value-added products to growers enabling us to grow our gross profit in the future. We expect to see strong cash flow in the future, and we remain committed to returning value to shareowners through vehicles such as investments that expand the business, dividends and share repurchases. We will remain focused on cost and cash management, both to support the progress we have made in managing our investment in working capital and to realize the full earnings potential of our businesses. We plan to continue to seek additional external financing opportunities for our customers as a way to manage receivables for each of our segments.
Outside of the United States, our businesses will continue to face additional challenges related to the risks inherent in operating in emerging markets, along with an increased level of risk in Europe. We expect to continue to monitor these developments and the challenges and issues they place on our business. We believe we have taken appropriate measures to manage our credit exposure, which has the potential to affect sales negatively in the near term. In addition, volatility in foreign currency exchange rates may negatively affect our profitability, the book value of our assets outside the United States, and our shareowners equity.
Seeds and Genomics
Our capabilities in plant breeding and biotechnology research are generating a rich and balanced product pipeline that we expect will drive long-term growth. We plan to continue to invest in the areas of seeds, genomics and biotechnology and to invest in technology arrangements that have the potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our R&D efforts. We believe that our seeds and traits businesses will have significant near-term growth opportunities through a combination of improved breeding and continued growth of stacked and secondand thirdgeneration biotech traits.
We expect advanced breeding techniques combined with improved production practices and capital investments will continue to contribute to improved germplasm quality and yields for our seed offerings, leading to increased global demand for both our branded germplasm and our licensed germplasm. We plan to improve and grow our vegetable seeds business, which has a portfolio focused on 23 crops. We continue to apply our molecular breeding and marker capabilities to our vegetable seeds germplasm, which we expect will lead to business growth. The business integration into a global platform, along with a number of process improvements, has improved our ability to develop and deliver new, innovative products to our broad customer base. We plan to continue to pursue strategic acquisitions in our seed businesses to grow our branded seed share, expand our germplasm library and strengthen our global breeding programs. We expect to see continued competition in seeds and genomics. We believe we will have a competitive advantage because of our global breeding capabilities and our multiple-channel sales approach in the United States for corn and soybean seeds.
Commercialization of second- and third-generation traits and the stacking of multiple traits in corn and cotton are expected to increase penetration in approved markets, particularly as we continue to price our traits in line with the value growers have experienced. In 2012, we saw higher-value, stacked-trait products representing a larger share of our total U.S. corn seed sales than we did in 2011. We experienced an increase in competition in biotechnology as more competitors launched traits in the United States and internationally. Acquisitions may also present mid-to-longer term opportunities to increase penetration of our traits. We believe our competitive position continues to enable us to deliver second- and third-generation traits when our competitors are delivering their first-generation traits.
Full regulatory approval was received for a five percent refuge-in-a-bag (RIB) seed blend from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn and Genuity VT Double PRO RIB Complete providing a single bag solution enabling farmers in the Corn Belt to plant corn without a separate refuge. The U.S. EPA in August 2012 has granted registration for 10 percent Genuity VT Triple PRO RIB Complete corn. With this approval, all of the products in Monsantos reduced-refuge corn family now are RIB enabled for the U.S. Corn Belt. Genuity VT Triple PRO RIB Complete corn is expected to be broadly available to U.S. farmers in 2013.
Notwithstanding continuing and varied legal challenges by private and governmental parties in Brazil and pending resolution of the temporary suspension described below, we expect to continue to operate our business model of collecting on the sale of certified seeds, our point-of-delivery payment system (Roundup Ready soybeans, and in the future Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans) and our indemnification collection system (Bollgard cotton) to ensure that we capture value on all of our Roundup Ready soybeans and Bollgard cotton crops grown there. In one such legal challenge, a court ruling in Brazil challenged the collectability of certain royalties for Roundup Ready soybeans through the point-of-delivery system. Subsequently, an appeals court in Brazil recently issued a preliminary injunction resulting in the suspension of a lower state court ruling and maintaining such royalty collections while the full case continues on appeal. Additional legal actions have also been filed in Brazil that raise similar issues and additional appellate intervention is occurring which may impact royalty collection pending appeal. In Oct. 2012, Monsanto temporarily suspended its royalty collection and point-of-delivery payment system in Brazil pending the outcome of one such appeal from an action arising in Mato Grosso. Income is expected to grow in Brazil as farmers choose to plant more of our approved traits in soybeans, corn and cotton. Although Brazilian law clearly states that the pipeline patents protecting these products have the duration of the corresponding U.S. patent (2014 for Roundup Ready soybeans), the duration (and application) of these pipeline patents is currently under judicial review in Brazil. The agricultural economy in Brazil could be impacted by global commodity prices, particularly for corn and soybeans. We continue to maintain our strict credit policy, expand our grain-based collection system, and focus on cash collection and sales, as part of a continuous effort to manage our risk in Brazil against such volatility.
During 2007, we announced a long-term joint R&D and commercialization collaboration in plant biotechnology with BASF that will focus on high-yielding crops and crops that are tolerant to adverse conditions such as drought. We have completed all North American and key import country regulatory submissions for the first biotech drought-tolerant corn product. Necessary approvals have been obtained for on-farm testing plots that were planted in 2012 to obtain on-farm data useful for the expected full-scale U.S. launch in 2013. Remaining regulatory import approvals needed for full-scale launch are pending but expected by the 2013 planting season. Over the life of the collaboration, we and BASF will dedicate a joint budget of potentially $2.5 billion to fund a dedicated pipeline of yield and stress tolerance traits for corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and wheat.
Our international traits businesses, in particular, will probably continue to face unpredictable regulatory environments that may be highly politicized. We operate in volatile, and often difficult, economic and political environments. Although we see growth potential in our India cotton business with the ongoing conversion to higher planting rates with hybrids and Bollgard II cotton, this business is currently operating under existing state governmental pricing directives and there is a potential for new state governmental pricing directives that we believe limit near-term earnings potential in India.
Efforts to secure an orderly system in Argentina to support the introduction of new technology products are underway. We do not plan to collect on first generation Roundup Ready soybeans. We are preparing for a potential launch of Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans provided we can achieve more certainty that we will be compensated for providing the technology. To achieve this, we are pursuing grower and grain handler agreements. Intacta RR2 PRO technology has been approved for commercial planting in Argentina by the Ministry of Agriculture which gives us the possibility to expand our field trials and obtain more information about the benefits of the technology in the different regions and environments in Argentina. This approval does not imply a commercial launch.
Following the decision of the French government to suspend the planting of YieldGard Corn Borer in February 2008, French farmers, French grower associations and various companies, including Monsanto, filed a claim to the Supreme Administrative court (Conseil dEtat) to overturn the French governments suspension of planting of YieldGard Corn Borer. As a result of the ban, the sales or planting of MON810 products in France were suspended. The European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an opinion that the French suspension is not supported on a scientific basis. The case was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and on Sept. 8, 2011, the ECJ ruled that the French ban was illegal and that a ban can be invoked only in circumstances that are likely to constitute a clear and serious risk to human health, animal health or the environment. On Nov. 28, 2011, the Conseil dEtat ordered the French government to cancel the ban imposed on genetically-modified corn crops in 2008. The court ruled that the agriculture ministry had not established high risk to the environment or health and thus lacked scientific basis for the ban. On Mar. 16, 2012, the French Government announced a new temporary suspension of the cultivation of MON810 corn in France. On May 21, 2012, EFSA published their opinion on the MON810 French ban concluding that there is no specific scientific evidence, in terms of risk to human and animal health or the environment, that would support the ban and that would invalidate its previous risk assessments of maize MON810. On Apr. 17, 2009, Germany undertook a procedural action under European law and banned the planting of YieldGard Corn Borer. We sought interim relief to overturn the ban which the German administrative courts denied. As a result, the sales or planting of MON810 products in Germany were suspended. The court proceedings are postponed pending the outcome of administrative proceedings. Other European Union Member States (e.g., Austria, Luxembourg and Greece) have also invoked procedural measures but we have focused our legal challenges to those countries with significant corn plantings.
On Sept. 4, 2007, we received a civil investigative demand from the Iowa Attorney General seeking information regarding the production and marketing of glyphosate and the development, production, marketing, or licensing of soybean, corn or cotton germplasm containing transgenic traits. Iowa coordinated this inquiry with several other states. We have fully cooperated with this investigation and complied with all requests. We believe we have meritorious legal positions and will continue to represent our interests vigorously in this matter.
On Jan. 12, 2010, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a civil investigative demand to Monsanto requesting information on our soybean traits business. Among other things, the DOJ has requested information regarding our plans for and licensing of soybean seed containing Roundup Ready or Roundup Ready 2 Yield traits. We are cooperating with this request. We believe we have meritorious legal positions and will continue to represent our interests vigorously in this matter.
We believe our Roundup herbicide business will continue to generate a sustainable source of cash and gross profit. We have oriented the focus of Monsantos crop protection business to strategically support Monsantos Roundup Ready crops through our weed management platform that delivers weed control offerings for farmers. In addition, we expect our lawn-and-garden business will continue to be a solid contributor to our Agricultural Productivity segment.
The staff of the SEC is conducting an investigation of financial reporting associated with our customer incentive programs for glyphosate products for the fiscal years 2009 and 2010, and we have received subpoenas in connection therewith. We are cooperating with the investigation.
In preparing our financial statements, we must select and apply various accounting policies. Our most significant policies are described in Note 2 Significant Accounting Policies. In order to apply our accounting policies, we often need to make estimates based on judgments about future events. In making such estimates, we rely on historical experience, market and other conditions, and on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable. However, the estimation process is by its nature uncertain given that estimates depend on events over which we may not have control. If market and other conditions change from those that we anticipate, our results of operations, financial condition and changes in financial condition may be materially affected. In addition, if our assumptions change, we may need to revise our estimates, or to take other corrective actions, either of which may also have a material effect on our results of operations, financial condition or changes in financial condition. Members of our senior management have discussed the development and selection of our critical accounting estimates, and our disclosures regarding them, with the audit and finance committee of our board of directors, and do so on a regular basis.
We believe that the following estimates have a higher degree of inherent uncertainty and require our most significant judgments. In addition, had we used estimates different from any of these, our results of operations, financial condition or changes in financial condition for the current period could have been materially different from those presented.
Goodwill: The majority of our goodwill relates to our seed company acquisitions. We are required to assess whether any of our goodwill is impaired. In order to do this, we apply judgment in determining our reporting units, which represent component parts of our business. Our annual goodwill impairment assessment involves estimating the fair value of a reporting unit and comparing it with its carrying amount. If the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds its fair value, additional steps are required to calculate a potential impairment loss.
Calculating the fair value of the reporting units requires significant estimates and long-term assumptions. Any changes in key assumptions about the business and its prospects, or any changes in market conditions, interest rates or other externalities, could result in an impairment charge. We estimate the fair value of our reporting units by applying discounted cash flow methodologies. A discounted cash flow analysis requires us to make various judgmental estimates and assumptions that include, but are not limited to, sales growth, gross profit margin rates and discount rates. Discount rates were evaluated by reporting segment to account for differences in inherent industry risk. Sales growth and gross profit margin assumptions were based on our long range plan.
The annual goodwill impairment tests were performed as of Mar. 1, 2012, and Mar. 1, 2011. No indications of goodwill impairment existed as of either date. The results of managements Mar. 1, 2012, goodwill impairment test indicated that all reporting units had a calculated fair value greater than 10% in excess of its carrying value. In 2012 and 2011, we recorded goodwill related to our acquisitions (see Note 4 Business Combinations). As part of the annual goodwill impairment tests, we compared our total market capitalization with the aggregate estimated fair value of our reporting units to ensure that significant differences are understood. At Mar. 1, 2012, and Mar. 1, 2011, our market capitalization exceeded the aggregate estimated fair value of our reporting units. Future declines in the fair value of our reporting units could result in an impairment of goodwill and reduce net income.
Income Taxes: Management regularly assesses the likelihood that deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income. To the extent management believes that it is more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will not be realized, a valuation allowance is established. When a valuation allowance is established or increased, an income tax charge is included in the consolidated financial statements and net deferred tax assets are adjusted accordingly. Changes in tax laws, statutory tax rates and estimates of the companys future taxable income levels could result in actual realization of the deferred tax assets being materially different from the amounts provided for in the consolidated financial statements. If the actual recovery amount of the deferred tax asset is less than anticipated, we would be required to write-off the remaining deferred tax asset and increase the tax provision, resulting in a reduction of net income and shareowners equity.
Under the Income Taxes topic of the ASC, in order to recognize the benefit of an uncertain tax position, the taxpayer must be more likely than not of sustaining the position, and the measurement of the benefit is calculated as the largest amount that is more than 50 percent likely to be realized upon resolution of the position. Tax authorities regularly examine the companys returns in the jurisdictions in which we do business. Management regularly assesses the tax risk of the companys return filing positions and believes its accruals for uncertain tax positions are adequate as of Aug. 31, 2012.
As of Aug. 31, 2012, management has recorded deferred tax assets of approximately $522 million in Brazil primarily related to net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) that have no expiration date. We also had available approximately $80 million of U.S. foreign tax credit carryforwards. Management continues to believe it is more likely than not that we will realize our deferred tax assets in Brazil and the United States.
Revenue Recognition: Monsanto sells its products directly to customers as well as through distributors. We recognize revenue when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, the sales price is fixed or determinable, and collection is probable. Product is considered delivered to the customer once it has been shipped and title and risk of loss have been transferred.
We record reductions to revenue for estimated customer sales returns, marketing programs, and certain other customer incentive programs. These reductions to revenue are made based upon reasonable and reliable estimates that are determined by historical experience, contractual terms, and current conditions. The primary factors affecting our accrual for estimated customer returns include estimated return rates as well as the number of units shipped that have a right of return. At least each quarter, we re-evaluate our estimates to assess the adequacy of our recorded accruals for customer returns and allowance for doubtful accounts, and adjust the amounts as necessary. Additionally, certain customer incentive programs require management to estimate the number of customers who will actually redeem the incentive. Managements estimates are based on historical experience and the specific terms and conditions of particular incentive programs. If a greater than estimated proportion of customers redeem such incentives, Monsanto would be required to record additional reductions to revenue, which would have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Customer Incentive Programs: Customer incentive program costs are recorded in accordance with the Revenue Recognition topic of the ASC, based upon specific performance criteria met by our customers, such as purchase volumes, promptness of payment and market share increases. The cost of customer incentive programs is recorded in net sales in the Statements of Consolidated Operations. As actual customer incentive program expenses are not known at the time of the sale, an estimate based on the best available information (such as historical experience and market research) is used as a basis for recording customer incentive program liabilities. Management analyzes and reviews the customer incentive program balances on a quarterly basis, and adjustments are recorded as appropriate. In 2010 and 2009, we executed customer incentive programs that provided certain customers price protection consideration if standard purchase prices fell lower than the price the distributor paid on eligible products. Accordingly, we evaluated the impacts of these programs on revenue recognition, and recorded revenue when all recognition criteria were met. No similar programs were executed in fiscal year 2011 or 2012.
We are exposed to the effect of interest rate changes, foreign currency fluctuations, changes in commodity, equity and debt securities prices. Market risk represents the risk of a change in the value of a financial instrument, derivative or nonderivative, caused by fluctuations in interest rates, currency exchange rates, and commodity, equity and debt securities prices. Monsanto handles market risk in accordance with established policies by engaging in various derivative transactions. Such transactions are not entered into for trading purposes.
See Note 2 Significant Accounting Policies, Note 16 Fair Value Measurements and Note 17 Financial Instruments to the consolidated financial statements for further details regarding the accounting and disclosure of our derivative instruments and hedging activities.
The sensitivity analysis discussed below presents the hypothetical change in fair value of those financial instruments held by the company as of Aug. 31, 2012, that are sensitive to changes in interest rates, currency exchange rates, and commodity and equity and debt securities prices. Actual changes may prove to be greater or less than those hypothesized.
Changes in Interest Rates: Our interest-rate risk exposure pertains primarily to the debt portfolio. To the extent that we have cash available for investment to ensure liquidity, we will invest that cash only in short-term instruments. Most of our debt as of Aug. 31, 2012, consisted of fixed-rate long-term obligations.
Market risk with respect to interest rates is estimated as the potential change in fair value resulting from an immediate hypothetical one percentage point parallel shift in the yield curve. The fair values of our investments and debt are based on quoted market prices or discounted future cash flows. As the carrying amounts on short-term debt and investments maturing in less than 360 days and the carrying amounts of variable-rate medium-term notes approximate their respective fair values, a one percentage point change in the interest rates would not result in a material change in the fair value of our debt and investments portfolio.
In July 2005, we issued $400 million of 5.500% Senior Notes due 2035. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 5.500% 2035 Senior Notes was $494 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 5.500% 2035 Senior Notes by $76 million.
In August 2005, we issued $314 million of 5.500% Senior Notes due 2025. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 5.500% 2025 Senior Notes was $395 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 5.500% 2025 Senior Notes by $41 million.
In April 2008, we issued $300 million of 5.125% Senior Notes due 2018. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 5.125% 2018 Senior Notes was $353 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 5.125% 2018 Senior Notes by $18 million.
In April 2008, we issued $250 million of 5.875% Senior Notes due 2038. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 5.875% 2038 Senior Notes was $329 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 5.875% 2038 Senior Notes by $54 million.
In April 2011, we issued $300 million of 2.750% Senior Notes due 2016. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 2.750% 2016 Senior Notes was $318 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 2.750% 2016 Senior Notes by $11 million.
In July 2012, we issued $250 million of 2.200% Senior Notes due 2022. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 2.200% 2022 Senior Notes was $251 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 2.200% 2022 Senior Notes by $23 million.
In July 2012, we issued $250 million of 3.600% Senior Notes due 2042. As of Aug. 31, 2012, the fair value of the 3.600% 2042 Senior Notes was $254 million. A one percentage point change in the interest rates would change the fair value of the 3.600% 2042 Senior Notes by $53 million.
Foreign Currency Fluctuations: In managing foreign currency risk, we focus on reducing the volatility in consolidated cash flow and earnings caused by fluctuations in exchange rates. We use foreign currency forward exchange contracts and foreign currency options to manage the net currency exposure, in accordance with established hedging policies. We hedge recorded commercial transaction exposures, intercompany loans, net investments in foreign subsidiaries, and forecasted transactions. The companys significant hedged positions included the European euro, the Canadian dollar, the Mexican peso, the Australian dollar, and the Brazilian real. Unfavorable currency movements of 10 percent would negatively affect the fair values of the derivatives held to hedge currency exposures by $103 million.
Changes in Commodity Prices: We use futures contracts to protect itself against commodity price increases and uses options contracts to limit the unfavorable effect that price changes could have on these purchases. Our futures contracts are accounted for as cash flow hedges and are mainly in the Seeds and Genomics segment. Our option contracts do not qualify for hedge accounting under the provisions specified by the Derivatives and Hedging topic of the ASC. The majority of these contracts hedge the committed or future purchases of, and the carrying value of payables to growers for, soybean and corn inventories. In addition, we collect payments on certain customer accounts in grain, and enter into forward sales contracts to mitigate the commodity price exposure. A 10 percent decrease in the prices would have a negative effect on the fair value of these instruments of $57 million. We also use natural gas, diesel and ethylene swaps to manage energy input costs and raw material costs. A 10 percent decrease in the price of these swaps would have a negative effect on the fair value of these instruments of $10 million.
Changes in Equity and Debt Securities Prices: We also have investments in marketable equity and debt securities. All such investments are classified as long-term available-for-sale investments. The fair value of these investments is $36 million as of Aug. 31, 2012. These securities are listed on a stock exchange, quoted in an over-the-counter market or measured using an independent pricing source and adjusted for expected future credit losses. If the market price of the marketable equity and debt securities should decrease by 10 percent, the fair value of the equities and debt would decrease by $4 million. See Note 12 Investments and Equity Affiliates for further details.
Monsanto Companys management is responsible for the fair presentation and consistency, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, of all the financial information included in this Form 10-K. Where necessary, the information reflects managements best estimates and judgments.
Management is also responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective system of internal control over financial reporting. The purpose of this system is to provide reasonable assurance that Monsantos assets are safeguarded against material loss from unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition, that authorized transactions are properly recorded to permit the preparation of accurate financial information in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, that records are maintained which accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the company, and that receipts and expenditures are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company. This system of internal control over financial reporting is supported by formal policies and procedures, including a Business Conduct program designed to encourage and assist employees in living up to high standards of integrity, as well as a Code of Ethics for Chief Executive and Senior Financial Officers. Management seeks to maintain the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting by careful personnel selection and training, division of responsibilities, establishment and communication of policies, and ongoing internal reviews and audits. See Managements Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting for Managements conclusion of the effectiveness of Monsantos internal control over financial reporting as of Aug. 31, 2012.
Monsantos consolidated financial statements have been audited by Deloitte & Touche LLP, independent registered public accounting firm. Their audits were conducted in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), and included a test of financial controls, tests of accounting records, and such other procedures as they considered necessary in the circumstances.
The Audit and Finance Committee, composed entirely of outside directors, meets regularly with management, with the internal auditors and with the independent registered public accounting firm to review accounting, financial reporting, auditing and internal control matters. The committee has direct and private access to the registered public accounting firm and internal auditors.
/s/ Hugh Grant
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
/s/ Pierre Courduroux
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Oct. 19, 2012
Management of Monsanto Company is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act. Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on the framework and criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework, issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).
In conducting our evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of Aug. 31, 2012, we have excluded the acquisition of Precision Planting, Inc., as permitted by the guidance issued by the Office of the Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The acquisition was completed in the fourth quarter of 2012 and in total constituted less than two percent of total assets as of Aug. 31, 2012, and less than one percent of total revenues for the fiscal year then ended. See Note 4 Business Combinations for further discussion of this acquisition and its impact on Monsantos Consolidated Financial Statements.
Based on our evaluation under the COSO framework, management concluded that the company maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of Aug. 31, 2012.
The companys independent registered public accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche LLP, was appointed by the Audit and Finance Committee of the companys Board of Directors, and ratified by the companys shareowners. Deloitte & Touche LLP has audited and reported on the Consolidated Financial Statements of Monsanto Company and subsidiaries and the effectiveness of the companys internal control over financial reporting. The reports of the independent registered public accounting firm are contained in Item 8 of this Annual Report.
/s/ Hugh Grant
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
/s/ Pierre Courduroux
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Oct. 19, 2012
To the Shareowners of Monsanto Company:
We have audited the internal control over financial reporting of Monsanto Company and subsidiaries (the Company) as of August 31, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. As described in Managements Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting, management excluded from its assessment the internal control over financial reporting at Precision Planting, Inc. which was acquired in the fourth quarter of 2012 and whose financial statements constitute less than two percent of total assets as of August 31, 2012 and less than one percent of total revenues for the year ended August 31, 2012. Accordingly, our audit did not include the internal control over financial reporting at Precision Planting, Inc. The Companys management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Managements Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Companys internal control over financial reporting based on our audit.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
A companys internal control over financial reporting is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, the companys principal executive and principal financial officers, or persons performing similar functions, and effected by the companys board of directors, management, and other personnel to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A companys internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the companys assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of the inherent limitations of internal control over financial reporting, including the possibility of collusion or improper management override of controls, material misstatements due to error or fraud may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Also, projections of any evaluation of the effectiveness of the internal control over financial reporting to future periods are subject to the risk that the controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of August 31, 2012, based on the criteria established in Internal Control Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the statement of consolidated financial position as of August 31, 2012 and the related statements of consolidated operations, comprehensive income, cash flows, and shareowners equity for the year ended August 31, 2012, of the Company and our report dated October 19, 2012 expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements and includes an explanatory paragraph regarding the Companys retrospective adoption during the year ended August 31, 2012 of new accounting guidance for the presentation of comprehensive income.
/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
St. Louis, Missouri
October 19, 2012
REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
To the Shareowners of Monsanto Company:
We have audited the accompanying statements of consolidated financial position of Monsanto Company and subsidiaries (the Company) as of August 31, 2012 and 2011, and the related statements of consolidated operations, comprehensive income, cash flows and shareowners equity for each of the three years in the period ended August 31, 2012. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Companys management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, such consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Monsanto Company and subsidiaries as of August 31, 2012 and 2011, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended August 31, 2012, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
As discussed in Note 3 to the consolidated financial statements, during the year ended August 31, 2012, the Company retrospectively adopted new accounting guidance related to the presentation of comprehensive income.
We have also audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the Companys internal control over financial reporting as of August 31, 2012, based on the criteria established in Internal ControlIntegrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission and our report dated October 19, 2012 expressed an unqualified opinion on the Companys internal control over financial reporting.
/s/ DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
St. Louis, Missouri
October 19, 2012
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
See Note 25 Supplemental Cash Flow Information for further details.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
Statements of Consolidated Shareowners Equity (continued)
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these consolidated financial statements.
NOTE 1. BACKGROUND AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION
Monsanto Company, along with its subsidiaries, is a leading global provider of agricultural products for farmers. Monsantos seeds, biotechnology trait products and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals.
Monsanto manages its business in two segments: Seeds and Genomics and Agricultural Productivity. Through the Seeds and Genomics segment, Monsanto produces leading seed brands, including DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine, Seminis and De Ruiter, and Monsanto develops biotechnology traits that assist farmers in controlling insects and weeds. Monsanto also provides other seed companies with genetic material and biotechnology traits for their seed brands. Through the Agricultural Productivity segment, the company manufactures Roundup and Harness brand herbicides and other herbicides. See Note 27 Segment and Geographic Data for further details.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, the company announced plans to divest its animal agricultural products business, which focused on dairy cow productivity (the Dairy business). This transaction was consummated on Oct. 1, 2008. As a result, financial data for this business has been presented as discontinued operations. The financial statements have been prepared in compliance with the provisions of the Property, Plant and Equipment topic of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC). Accordingly, for all periods presented herein, the Statements of Consolidated Operations have been conformed to this presentation. The Dairy business was previously reported as part of the Agricultural Productivity segment.
Monsanto includes the operations, assets and liabilities that were previously the agricultural business of Pharmacia Corporation (Pharmacia), which is now a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. Monsanto was incorporated as a subsidiary of Pharmacia in February 2000. On Sept. 1, 2000, the assets and liabilities of the agricultural business were transferred from Pharmacia to Monsanto, pursuant to the terms of a separation agreement dated as of that date (the Separation Agreement), from which time the consolidated financial statements reflect the results of operations, financial position, and cash flows of the company as a separate entity responsible for procuring or providing the services and financing previously provided by Pharmacia. In October 2000, Monsanto sold approximately 15 percent of its common stock at $10 per share in an initial public offering. On Aug. 13, 2002, Pharmacia completed a spinoff of Monsanto by distributing its entire ownership interest via a tax-free dividend to Pharmacias shareowners.
Unless otherwise indicated, Monsanto and the company are used interchangeably to refer to Monsanto Company or to Monsanto Company and its consolidated subsidiaries, as appropriate to the context.
NOTE 2. SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements of Monsanto and its subsidiaries were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (GAAP) and include the assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses of all majority-owned subsidiaries over which the Company exercises control and, when applicable, entities for which the Company has a controlling financial interest or is the primary beneficiary. Intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The company records income attributable to noncontrolling interest in the Statements of Consolidated Operations for any non-owned portion of consolidated subsidiaries. Noncontrolling interest is recorded within the equity section but separate from Monsantos equity in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position.
On September 1, 2010, Monsanto prospectively adopted the accounting standard update regarding improvements to financial reporting by enterprises involving variable interest entities (VIEs). This ASC requires former qualifying Special Purpose Entities (SPE) to be evaluated for consolidation and also changed the approach to determining a VIEs primary beneficiary and requires companies to more frequently reassess whether they must consolidate VIEs. Arrangements with business enterprises are evaluated, and those in which Monsanto is determined to be the primary beneficiary are consolidated. See Note 8 Variable Interest Entities for a description of consolidated and non-consolidated VIEs.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (continued)
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Estimates are adjusted to reflect actual experience when necessary. Significant estimates and assumptions affect many items in the financial statements. These include allowance for doubtful trade receivables, sales returns and allowances, inventory obsolescence, income tax liabilities and assets and related valuation allowances, asset impairments, valuations of goodwill and other intangible assets, employee benefit plan assets and liabilities, value of equity-based awards, marketing program liabilities, grower accruals (an estimate of amounts payable to farmers who grow seed for Monsanto), restructuring reserves, self-insurance reserves, environmental reserves, deferred revenue, contingencies, litigation, incentives and the allocation of corporate costs to segments. Significant estimates and assumptions are also used to establish the fair value and useful lives of depreciable tangible and certain intangible assets. Actual results may differ from those estimates and assumptions, and such results may affect income financial position, or cash flows.
The company derives most of its revenue from three main sources: sales of branded conventional seed and branded seed with biotechnology traits; royalties and license revenues from licensed biotechnology traits and genetic material; and sales of agricultural chemical products. Monsanto follows the Revenue Recognition topic of the ASC.
Revenues from all branded seed sales are recognized when the title to the products is transferred. The company recognizes revenue on products it sells to distributors when, according to the terms of the sales agreement, delivery has occurred, performance is complete, expected returns can be reasonably estimated and pricing is fixed or determinable at the time of sale. When the right of return exists in the companys seed business, sales revenues are reduced at the time of sale to reflect expected returns. In order to estimate the expected returns, management analyzes historical returns, economic trends, market conditions and changes in customer demand.
The Revenue Recognition topic of the ASC affects Monsantos recognition of license revenues from biotechnology traits sold through third-party seed companies. Trait royalties and license revenues are recorded when earned, usually when the third-party seed companies sell their seeds containing Monsanto traits to growers. Primarily in Brazil, Monsanto has a point-of-delivery collection system for certain royalties for Roundup Ready soybeans. Revenue is recorded when the grain containing Roundup Ready technology is delivered and commercialized at the grain handlers and the collection cycle is complete.
Revenues for agricultural chemical products are recognized when title to the products is transferred. The company recognizes revenue on products it sells to distributors when, according to the terms of the sales agreements, delivery has occurred, performance is complete, no right of return exists and pricing is fixed or determinable at the time of sale.
There are several additional conditions for recognition of revenue including that the collection of sales proceeds must be reasonably assured based on historical experience and current market conditions and that there must be no further performance obligations under the sale or the royalty or license agreement.
To reduce credit exposure in Latin America, Monsanto collects payments on certain customer accounts in grain. In those circumstances in Argentina when Monsanto participates in the negotiation of the forward sales contract, Monsanto records revenue and related cost of sale for the grain on a net basis. In those circumstances in Brazil when Monsanto does not participate in the negotiation of the forward sales contract and does not take physical custody of the grain or assume the associated inventory risk, Monsanto does not record revenue or the related cost of sales for the grain. Such payments in grain are negotiated at or near the time Monsantos products are sold to the customers and are valued at the prevailing grain commodity prices. By entering into forward sales contracts with grain merchants, Monsanto mitigates the commodity price exposure from the time a contract is signed with a customer until the time a grain merchant collects the grain from the customer on Monsantos behalf. The grain merchant converts the grain to cash for Monsanto. These forward sales contracts do not qualify for hedge accounting under the Derivatives and Hedging topic of the ASC. Accordingly, the gain or loss on these derivatives is recognized in current earnings.
Promotional, Advertising and Customer Incentive Program Costs
Promotional and advertising costs are expensed as incurred and are included in selling, general and administrative expenses in the Statements of Consolidated Operations. Advertising costs were $87 million, $100 million and $120 million in 2012,
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (continued)
2011 and 2010, respectively. Customer incentive program costs are recorded in accordance with the Revenue Recognition topic of the ASC, based on specific performance criteria met by our customers, such as purchase volumes, promptness of payment and market share increases. The cost of customer incentive programs is generally recorded in net sales in the Statements of Consolidated Operations. As actual customer incentive program expenses are not known at the time of the sale, an estimate based on the best available information (such as historical experience and market research) is used as a basis for recording customer incentive program liabilities. Management analyzes and reviews the customer incentive program balances on a quarterly basis and adjustments are recorded as appropriate. In fiscal year 2010, the company executed customer incentive programs that provided certain customers price protection consideration if standard purchase prices fall lower than the price the distributor paid on eligible products. Accordingly, the company evaluated the impacts of these programs on revenue recognition, and recorded revenue when all revenue recognition criteria were met. Under certain customer incentive programs, product performance and variations in weather can result in free product to customers. The associated cost of this free product is recognized as cost of goods sold in the Statements of Consolidated Operations.
Research and Development Costs
The company accounts for research and development (R&D) costs in accordance with the Research and Development topic of the ASC. Under the Research and Development topic of the ASC, all R&D costs must be charged to expense as incurred. Accordingly, internal R&D costs are expensed as incurred. Third-party R&D costs are expensed when the contracted work has been performed or as milestone results are achieved. Acquired in process research and development (IPR&D) costs without alternative uses are recorded on the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position as indefinite-lived intangible assets. The costs of purchased IPR&D that have alternative future uses are capitalized and amortized over the estimated useful life of the asset. The costs associated with equipment or facilities acquired or constructed for R&D activities that have alternative future uses are capitalized and depreciated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset. The amortization and depreciation for such capitalized assets are charged to R&D expenses. In fiscal year 2007, Monsanto and BASF announced a long-term joint R&D and commercialization collaboration in plant technology that focuses on high-yielding crops and crops that are tolerant to adverse conditions. The collaboration resulted in shared R&D costs. Only Monsantos portion has been included in research and development expenses in the Statements of Consolidated Operations.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected tax consequences of temporary differences between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their reported amounts. Management regularly assesses the likelihood that deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income, and to the extent management believes that it is more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will not be realized, a valuation allowance is established. When a valuation allowance is established, increased or decreased, an income tax charge or benefit is included in the consolidated financial statements and net deferred tax assets are adjusted accordingly. The net deferred tax assets as of Aug. 31, 2012, represent the estimated future tax benefits to be received from taxing authorities or future reductions of taxes payable.
Under the Income Tax topic of the ASC, in order to recognize an uncertain tax benefit, the taxpayer must be more likely than not of sustaining the position, and the measurement of the benefit is calculated as the largest amount that is more than 50 percent likely to be realized upon resolution of the benefit. Tax authorities regularly examine the companys returns in the jurisdictions in which Monsanto does business. Management regularly assesses the tax risk of the companys return filing positions and believes its accruals for uncertain tax benefits are adequate as of Aug. 31, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2011.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
All highly liquid investments (defined as investments with a maturity of three months or less when purchased) are considered cash equivalents.
Inventory Valuation and Obsolescence
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market, and an inventory reserve would permanently reduce the cost basis of inventory. Inventories are valued as follows:
Seeds and Genomics: Actual cost is used to value raw materials such as treatment chemicals and packaging, as well as goods in process. Costs for substantially all finished goods, which include the cost of carryover crops from the previous year, are valued at weighted-average actual cost. Weighted-average actual cost includes field growing and harvesting costs, plant conditioning and packaging costs, and manufacturing overhead costs.
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Agricultural Productivity: Actual cost is used to value raw materials and supplies. Standard cost, which approximates actual cost, is used to value finished goods and goods in process. Variances, exclusive of abnormally low volume and operating performance, are capitalized into inventory. Standard cost includes direct labor and raw materials, and manufacturing overhead based on normal capacity. The cost of the Agricultural Productivity segment inventories in the United States (approximately eight percent of total company inventory as of Aug. 31, 2012, and 10 percent as of Aug. 31, 2011) is determined by using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method, which generally reflects the effects of inflation or deflation on cost of goods sold sooner than other inventory cost methods. The cost of inventories outside of the United States, as well as supplies inventories in the United States, is determined by using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method; FIFO is used outside of the United States because the requirements in the countries where Monsanto maintains inventories generally do not allow the use of the LIFO method. Inventories at FIFO approximate current cost.
In accordance with the Inventory topic of the ASC, Monsanto records abnormal amounts of idle facility expense, freight, handling costs and wasted material (spoilage) as current period charges and allocates fixed production overhead to the costs of conversion based on the normal capacity of the production facilities.
Monsanto establishes allowances for obsolescence of inventory equal to the difference between the cost of inventory (if higher) and the estimated market value, based on assumptions about future demand and market conditions. The company regularly evaluates the adequacy of our inventory obsolescence reserves. If economic and market conditions are different from those anticipated, inventory obsolescence could be materially different from the amounts provided for in the companys consolidated financial statements. If inventory obsolescence is higher than expected, cost of goods sold will be increased, and inventory, net income, and shareowners equity will be reduced.
Monsanto follows the guidance of the Business Combinations topic of the ASC, in recording the goodwill arising from a business combination as the excess of purchase price and related costs over the fair value of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed.
Under the Intangibles Goodwill and Other topic of the ASC goodwill is not amortized and is subject to annual impairment tests. A fair-value-based test is applied at the reporting unit level, which is generally at or one level below the operating segment level. The test compares the fair value of the companys reporting units to the carrying value of those reporting units. This test requires various judgments and estimates. The fair value of goodwill is determined using an estimate of future cash flows of the reporting unit and a risk-adjusted discount rate to compute a net present value of future cash flows. An adjustment to goodwill will be recorded for any goodwill that is determined to be impaired. Impairment of goodwill is measured as the excess of the carrying amount of goodwill over the fair values of recognized assets and liabilities of the reporting unit. Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually, or more frequently if events or circumstances indicate it might be impaired. Goodwill was last tested for impairment as of Mar. 1, 2012. See Note 11 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets for further discussion of the annual impairment test.
Other Intangible Assets
Other intangible assets consist primarily of acquired seed germplasm, acquired intellectual property, trademarks and customer relationships. Seed germplasm is the genetic material used in new seed varieties. Germplasm is amortized on a straight-line basis over useful lives ranging from five years for completed technology germplasm to a maximum of 30 years for certain core technology germplasm. Completed technology germplasm consists of seed hybrids and varieties that are commercially available. Core technology germplasm is the collective germplasm of inbred and hybrid seeds and has a longer useful life as it is used to develop new seed hybrids and varieties. Acquired intellectual property includes intangible assets related to acquisitions and licenses through which Monsanto has acquired the rights to various research and discovery technologies. These encompass intangible assets such as enabling processes and data libraries necessary to support the integrated genomics and biotechnology platforms. These intangible assets have alternative future uses and are amortized over useful lives ranging from three to 10 years. The useful lives of acquired germplasm and acquired intellectual property are determined based on consideration of several factors including the nature of the asset, its expected use, length of licensing agreement or patent and the period over which benefits are expected to be received from the use of the asset.
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Monsanto has a broad portfolio of trademarks and patents, including trademarks for Roundup (for herbicide products); Roundup Ready, Bollgard, Bollgard II, YieldGard, YieldGard VT, Roundup Ready 2 Yield and SmartStax (for traits); DEKALB, Asgrow, Deltapine and Vistive (for agricultural seeds); Seminis and De Ruiter (for vegetable seeds); and patents for our insect-protection traits, formulations used to make our herbicides and various manufacturing processes. The amortization period for trademarks and patents ranges from one to 30 years. Trademarks are amortized on a straight-line basis over their useful lives. The useful life of a trademark is determined based on the estimated market-life of the associated company, brand or product. Patents are amortized on a straight-line basis over the period in which the patent is legally protected, the period over which benefits are expected to be received, or the estimated market-life of the product with which the patent is associated, whichever is shorter.
In conjunction with acquisitions, Monsanto obtains access to the distribution channels and customer relationships of the acquired companies. These relationships are expected to provide economic benefits to Monsanto. The amortization period for customer relationships ranges from three to 20 years, and amortization is recognized on a straight-line basis over these periods. The amortization period of customer relationships represents managements best estimate of the expected usage or consumption of the economic benefits of the acquired assets, which is based on the companys historical experience of customer attrition rates.
In accordance with the Intangibles Goodwill and Other topic of the ASC, all amortizable intangible assets are assessed for impairment whenever events indicate a possible loss. Such an assessment involves estimating undiscounted cash flows over the remaining useful life of the intangible. If the review indicates that undiscounted cash flows are less than the recorded value of the intangible asset, the carrying amount of the intangible is reduced by the estimated cash-flow shortfall on a discounted basis, and a corresponding loss is charged to the Statement of Consolidated Operations. See Note 11 Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets for further discussion of Monsantos intangible assets.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment is recorded at cost. Additions and improvements are capitalized; these include all material, labor and engineering costs to design, install or improve the asset and interest costs on construction projects. Such costs are not depreciated until the assets are placed in service. Routine repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred. The cost of plant and equipment is depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the asset weighted-average periods of approximately 25 years for buildings, 10 years for machinery and equipment and five years for software. In compliance with the Property, Plant and Equipment topic of the ASC, long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment whenever in managements judgment conditions indicate a possible loss. Such impairment tests compare estimated undiscounted cash flows to the recorded value of the asset. If an impairment is indicated, the asset is written down to its fair value or, if fair value is not readily determinable, to an estimated fair value based on discounted cash flows.
Monsanto follows the Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligations topic of the ASC, which addresses financial accounting for and reporting of costs and obligations associated with the retirement of tangible long-lived assets. Monsanto has asset retirement obligations with carrying amounts totaling $79 million and $71 million as of Aug. 31, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2011, respectively, primarily relating to its manufacturing facilities. The change in carrying value as of Aug. 31, 2012, consisted of $6 million for accretion expense and $2 million in increased costs.
Environmental Remediation Liabilities
Monsanto follows the Asset Retirement and Environmental Obligations topic of the ASC, which provides guidance for recognizing, measuring and disclosing environmental remediation liabilities. Monsanto accrues these costs in the period when responsibility is established and when such costs are probable and reasonably estimable based on current law and existing technology. Postclosure and remediation costs for hazardous waste sites and other waste facilities at operating locations are accrued over the estimated life of the facility, as part of its anticipated closure cost.
Litigation and Other Contingencies
Monsanto is involved in various intellectual property, biotechnology, tort, contract, antitrust, shareowner claims, environmental and other litigation, claims and legal proceedings; environmental remediation; and government investigations (see Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies). Management routinely assesses the likelihood of adverse judgments or outcomes to those matters, as well as ranges of probable losses, to the extent losses are reasonably estimable. In accordance
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with the Contingencies topic of the ASC, accruals for such contingencies are recorded to the extent that management concludes their occurrence is probable and the financial impact, should an adverse outcome occur, is reasonably estimable. Disclosure for specific legal contingencies is provided if the likelihood of occurrence is at least reasonably possible and the exposure is considered material to the consolidated financial statements. In making determinations of likely outcomes of litigation matters, management considers many factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, past experience, scientific and other evidence, interpretation of relevant laws or regulations and the specifics and status of each matter. If the assessment of the various factors changes, the estimates may change. That may result in the recording of an accrual or a change in a previously recorded accrual. Predicting the outcome of claims and litigation and estimating related costs and exposure involves substantial uncertainties that could cause actual costs to vary materially from estimates and accruals.
Monsanto is subject to various commitments under contractual and other commercial obligations. The company recognizes liabilities for contingencies and commitments under the Guarantees topic of the ASC. For additional information on the companys commitments and other contractual and commercial obligations, see Note 26 Commitments and Contingencies.
Foreign Currency Translation
The financial statements for most of Monsantos ex-U.S. operations are translated to U.S. dollars at current exchange rates. For assets and liabilities, the fiscal year-end rate is used. For revenues, expenses, gains and losses, an approximation of the average rate for the period is used. Unrealized currency adjustments in the Statements of Consolidated Financial Position are accumulated in equity as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss. The financial statements of ex-U.S. operations in highly inflationary economies are translated at either current or historical exchange rates at the time they are deemed highly inflationary, in accordance with the Foreign Currency Matters topic of the ASC. These currency adjustments are included in net income. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Monsanto designated Venezuela as a hyperinflationary country effective June 1, 2009.
Significant translation exposures include the Brazilian real, the European euro, the Mexican peso, the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, and the Romanian leu. Currency restrictions are not expected to have a significant effect on Monsantos cash flow, liquidity or capital resources.
Derivatives and Other Financial Instruments
Monsanto uses financial derivative instruments to limit its exposure to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices and interest rates. Monsanto does not use financial derivative instruments for the purpose of speculating in foreign currencies, commodities or interest rates. Monsanto continually monitors its underlying market risk exposures and believes that it can modify or adapt its hedging strategies as needed.