Bayer shares plunge on prospect of write-downs, earnings decline

FRANKFURT, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Shares in Bayer plunged 11% after it flagged that adjusted profit may slip next year and it may have to write down the value of agriculture assets by close to 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion).

Bayer, which acquired seed maker Monsanto in 2018, said late on Wednesday that the impact of the coronavirus on the agriculture business will be more severe than originally expected because of competition in soy, lower biofuel demand and negative currency effects.

The company now expects 2021 sales to come in at around the 2020 levels, with 2021 core earnings per share slightly below 2020 levels, based on constant exchange rates.

“Since Monsanto was acquired, Bayer has delivered its basket of bad news every year and it is clear now that the group will not deliver the revenue growth expected at the time of this acquisition,” said Jean-Jacques Le Fur, an analyst at brokerage Bryan Garnier.

$1 = 0.8530 euros Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal