ADM delivers mixed results in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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DECATUR, ILL. — Net income at Archer Daniels Midland Co. in the period ended March 31 was $267 million, equal to 40c per share on the common stock, which was down 1% from $269 million, or 41c per share on the common stock, in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. ADM’s adjusted earnings per share, which excludes the impact of LIFO, restructuring costs and other adjustments, was 55c, up from 46c a year ago.

Segment operating profit for the first quarter was $691 million, up 10% from $630 million in the same period a year ago.

Net sales in the first quarter were $20,696 million, down 5% from $21,727 million in the same period a year ago.

“Our businesses delivered mixed results in the first quarter,” said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer of ADM. “Our ag services business again generated weak results due to a low margin environment as well as logistics and weather challenges in the U.S. Continued strong performance in corn was supported by the robust ethanol market. And the sustained, solid results in oilseeds were driven by good margins and volumes in North and South American soybean crushing.

“We continued to make good progress during the quarter in our ongoing portfolio management and other key initiatives to improve the earnings power and returns of the company.”

In the company’s Corn Processing segment, operating profit rose 28% to $196 million from $153 million.

Net revenues in the segment fell 7%, to $2,830 million from $3,053 million. Within the segment, sweeteners and starches profit fell 11% to $107 million from $120 million while bioproducts profit increased 100% to $154 million.

ADM’s Oilseeds Processing segment profit increased 7% in the quarter, rising to $334 million from $313 million. Revenues in the segment fell 4% to $7,803 million from $8,143 million.

ADM said crushing and origination operating profit was $161 million in the first quarter, up from $156 million in the same period a year ago.

“North American soybean crushing operations benefited from good crush capacity utilization in a favorable margin environment driven by strong domestic and export meal demand,” ADM said. “That was offset by lower results in North American softseeds. In South America, soybean crushing operations saw improved utilization, and the logistics network saw increased volumes as it began moving the large harvest to world markets in an improved environment. European results were essentially flat.”

Cocoa operating profit totaled $30 million in the first quarter, which compared with an operating loss of $27 million in the same period a year ago. ADM said the margin environment in the cocoa business continued to improve during the first quarter of fiscal 2014.

The company’s Agricultural Services segment posted a 1% increase in operating profit during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, increasing to $153 million from $151 million in fiscal 2013. Revenues in the segment eased to $9,974 million from $10,500 million.

“Milling and other results declined $8 million to $51 million as a lack of the seasonal carry in the wheat futures market reduced grain and feed merchandising opportunities,” ADM said.

The ADM Other segment posted operating income of $8 million, down from $13 million a year ago, while revenues increased 187% to $89 million from $31 million.
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