Monsanto, the agricultural technology company famous for its production of genetically modified seeds and the controversial weed killer Roundup, is hurting financially. Although the company is generally viewed in the public eye as powerful and influential, Monsanto’s net sales have dropped off this year from $15.85 billion in 2014 to $15 billion.
The drop-off in profit is a result of “falling sales of biotech-corn seeds and foreign currency pressures,” according to the Associated Press. As a result, Monsanto will be slashing 1,000 jobs in the next year, and preparing to cut 3,600 employees in total, or 16 percent of its workforce by 2018.
The job cuts were announced after Monsanto reported a $253-million loss in the first fiscal quarter of this year. In the most recent quarter, corn seed sales fell nearly 20 percent to $745 million. Despite the 17 percent drop in overall sales, earnings per share actually went up from 5.23 to 5.73 and free cash flow also increased. Therefore, Monsanto’s CEO remains positive about the company’s upcoming profits this year.
"The headwinds from currency and commodity prices that we outlined at the start of this fiscal year have not yet abated and in fact currency has become a much stronger headwind with the recent events in Argentina," CEO Hugh Grant told analysts Wednesday.