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June 24 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co, the world's largest seed company, reported a better-than-expected profit for the third quarter on Wednesday, and said it continues to pursue the acquisition of Swiss rival Syngenta AG.
Monsanto, known for its genetically engineered corn, soybeans and other crops as well as its popular Roundup herbicide, said for the quarter it made $1.14 billion, or $2.39 a share, up from $858 million, or $1.62 a share, a year earlier. Analysts, on average, were expecting $2.07 a share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales were up for the company's corn and soybean seeds, and for the unit that includes Roundup, but off for the company's vegetable, cotton and other seeds and genetic traits businesses.
Monsanto Chairman Hugh Grant said in a statement that the company sees acquiring Syngenta as "an exciting logical next step" that would provide "the opportunity to accelerate innovation and support a more diverse group of farmers around the world." Syngenta thus far has rejected Monsanto's overtures. (Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)