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Ceres Inc (CERE) Fiscal Year 2015 First Quarter Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Below is transcript of the Ceres Inc (NASDAQ:CERE) Fiscal Year 2015 First Quarter Earnings conference call, which is held on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

Ceres CERE logo

Ceres Inc (NASDAQ:CEREis an agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds to produce crops for bioenergy and other purposes. They use a combination of advanced plant breeding and biotechnology to develop their products.


Company Executives:

Richard William Hamilton, PhD, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ceres, Inc.

Paul M. Kuc, Chief Financial Officer, Ceres, Inc.

Gary Koppenjan, Director of Investor Relations and Communications, Ceres, Inc.



Caleb Dorfman, Research Analyst, Simmons & Company



Good afternoon and welcome to the Ceres, Inc. (NASDAQ:CERE) First Quarter Conference Call. As a reminder, this call is being recorded and webcast over the internet. You can access the webcast in Investor Event Section of The replay will be available for the next 30 days at this address as well. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Gary Koppenjan, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.


Gary Koppenjan, Director of Investor Relations and Communications

Thanks Candice and good afternoon to everyone. I am joined by Richard Hamilton, our President and CEO, and by Paul Kuc, our Chief Financial Officer. Today, after market close, we announce the results for the quarter ended November 30, 2014. The press release we issued is available on our website.

Before we get started, please be reminded that this presentation contains forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors that are in some cases beyond our control. Factors that can materially affect actual results can be found in our reports filed with the SEC. Ceres undertakes no obligations to update any forward-looking statements and transform these statements to actual results would have changes in the company’s expectations.

I will now turn the call over to Richard.


Richard Hamilton, President and CEO

Thank you Gary. Good afternoon. Thanks for joining us. I hope everybody had an enjoyable holiday season. For update today, our focus first, on our sorghum seed business, including how our plantings are progressing this season in Brazil. We also have more good news coming from our biotech field trials in corn. This continues to increase our excitement on other opportunities in food and feed crops, including corn, sugarcane and forage sorghum.

In our trait area, we are also deploying new trait development system called iCODE that I will explain more about and why we believe it may be an interesting technology out-licensing opportunity as well. Finally, I will provide a brief update on the roll-out of the subscription service for our bioinformatics software called Persephone and then wrap-up with an overview of our upcoming milestones.

As we reported today, our plantings in Brazil are largely completed and cover more than 4,000 hectares compared to approximately 1,000 hectares planted the previous season. The increase in planted hectarage over last season is primarily due to increase demand for high-biomass sorghum for power generation. This is a reflection in part of the current macroeconomic environment in Brazil where electricity prices are at historical highs compared with ethanol prices.

Following a dry start to the growth season, conditions have been generally favorable to date across most evaluation regions including adequate rainfall. Plus we still have several months of growing time ahead of us. Overall targets were slightly lower than our original forecast due to some weather delays at the beginning of the season which provided less time to plant and our subsequent decision not to plant outside our recommended time frame. Over the next few weeks, our are going to take measurements on how the crops are performing. We expect to have an update on the season for our April earnings call with final yield results following harvests in July.

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