Monsanto Co reported results falling below Wall Street expectations on Wednesday as the agricultural seed company warned that competitive pressures would make it difficult to meet previously announced financial targets.

St. Louis-based Monsanto reported earnings per share for the second quarter ended February 28 of $1.60 on an as-reported basis, and $1.70 on an ongoing basis.

Analysts were expecting $1.73 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and $1.70 on a fully reported basis.

The company said full-year ongoing earnings per share would likely come in at the low end of its previously stated range of $3.10 to $3.30, and Monsanto officials said it was unlikely to meet its goal of doubling 2007 gross profit by 2012.

Shares rose 1.4 percent to $70.49 in premarket trading after the results.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)