St. Louis-based Monsanto, a leader in development of genetically modified crops, said net income for the third quarter totaled $694 million, or $1.25 a share, falling from $811 million, or $1.45 a share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting $1.18 a share after a warning by the company last month of lower earnings due to tougher competition in the herbicide business.
Monsanto shares rose 3.2 percent to $81.85 in premarket trade on Wednesday.
Net sales net sales of $3.2 billion for the quarter were down 11 percent due in part to declines in the company's Roundup and other glyphosate-based agricultural herbicides globally.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam, editing by Dave Zimmerman )