Charges cut into ADM earnings

by Jeff Gelski
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DECATUR, ILL. – Net earnings slipped for Archer Daniels Midland Co. in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013, as charges affected fourth-quarter results negatively.

Net earnings attributable to ADM were $1,342 million, or $2.02 per share, in the year, which compared to $1,375 million, or $2.08 per share, in the previous fiscal year. Net sales and other operating income for the year were $89,804 million, down from $90,559 million.

Charges related to the attempted acquisition of GrainCorp Ltd. affected fourth-quarter results as did ADM’s Brazilian sugar mill. The Australian Federal Treasurer in November of 2013 prohibited the proposed acquisition of GrainCorp. ADM continued to own 19.85% of GrainCorp.

Net earnings attributable to ADM of $374 million, or 56c per share, in the fourth quarter compared to $510 million, or 77c per share, in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year. ADM said adjusted earnings per share in the fourth quarter were 95c, up from 60c in the previous year’s fourth quarter. Net sales and other operating income in the fourth quarter were $24,143 million, down from $24,921 million.

“The team delivered a strong finish to the year,” Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer of Decatur-based ADM, said of the fourth quarter when financial results were given Feb. 4. “Lower corn costs and improved ethanol margins helped support a significant improvement in our corn business. Our great oilseeds performance was driven by our ability to meet robust global demand for meal and by improved biodiesel results in North America and Europe.

“However, our ag services business was impacted by the slow farmer-selling of corn and challenges in international merchandising.”

Corn processing in the fiscal year had operating profit of $814 million, up from $278 million in the previous fiscal year. Oilseeds processing in the fiscal year had operating profit of $1,473 million, down from $1,620 million. Operating profit in the fiscal year also fell for agricultural services, dropping to $380 million from $779 million.
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