ADM delivers strong second-quarter results

by Eric Schroeder
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DECATUR, ILL. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. continued to “execute very well” and “delivered strong results” during the second quarter, said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer. Net income at ADM in the period ended June 30 was $533 million, equal to 81c per share on the common stock, up 139% from $223 million, or 34c per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013. ADM’s adjusted earnings per share, which excludes the impact of LIFO, restructuring costs and other adjustments, was 77c, up from 46c a year ago.

Segment operating profit for the second quarter was $888 million, up 37% from $647 million in the same period a year ago.

Net sales in the second quarter were $21,494 million, down 5% from $22,541 million in the same period a year ago.

“We capitalized on robust ethanol demand, a recovery of U.S. grain export volume and continuing strong demand for oilseeds products,” Ms. Woertz said during an Aug. 5 conference call with analysts to discuss second-quarter earnings. “I am very proud of the work that the team has done recently, not just in running the day-to-day business, but also strengthening the enterprise with aggressive cost and cash management and positioning our company for future growth. This work continues to drive improved returns, with this quarter’s ROIC showing a 200 basis point improvement over last year.”

Ms. Woertz said ADM has been active since the end of the first quarter, completing the construction of a sweetener and soluble fiber manufacturing complex in the Chinese port city of Tianjin, completing its acquisition of Toepfer and beginning the integration of the business, and reaching agreement to acquire Wild Flavors, a leader in natural flavors and flavor systems.

“It is through these and other actions that we are improving returns,” she said.

In the company’s Corn Processing segment, operating profit rose 56% to $347 million from $223 million.

Net revenues in the segment fell 16%, to $3,071 million from $3,638 million. Within the segment, sweeteners and starches profit increased 23% to $136 million from $111 million while bioproducts profit increased 45% to $141 million.

“Ethanol saw great margins and volumes, with good domestic demand driven by gasoline consumption and blending economics,” said Juan Luciano, president and chief operating officer. “Once again, ADM’s scale and logistics expertise allowed us to ensure a steady supply to the blenders despite a challenging logistics environment. U.S. ethanol’s competitive price in the global market led to continued strong export demand.

“This quarter also benefited from some very favorable pricing we booked during the first quarter. The sweeteners and starches team optimized their product mix and leveraged lower net corn costs to maximize volumes and margins despite lower average selling prices. In the quarter, we saw good demand from sweetener and starch customers in both the forward and the spot markets, and we ran our plants at high utilization rates.”

ADM’s Oilseeds Processing segment profit increased 2% in the quarter, rising to $327 million from $321 million. Revenues in the segment fell 5% to $8,841 million from $9,336 million.

“Our lecithin and protein specialties businesses both delivered their best quarters ever,” Mr. Luciano said.

ADM said crushing and origination operating profit was $163 million in the second quarter, down from $185 million in the same period a year ago.

Cocoa operating profit totaled $20 million in the second quarter, which compared with an operating loss of $17 million in the same period a year ago.

Mr. Luciano said during the call that ADM expects to have signed an agreement by the end of the third quarter to sell its global chocolate business.

The company’s Agricultural Services segment posted a 151% increase in operating profit during the second quarter of fiscal 2014, increasing to $203 million from $81 million in fiscal 2013. Revenues in the segment eased to $9,513 million from $9,530 million.

Within the segment, milling and other transportation profit eased to $61 million from $64 million during the quarter. Despite the mostly flat results, Mr. Luciano said milling has “a strong position in the U.S., a strong position in the U.K. and the Caribbean.”

“It has been one of our most predictable businesses and more stable businesses,” he said. “So we have a very good level of comfort in the stability of earnings that they can deliver.”

The ADM Other segment posted operating income of $11 million, down from $22 million a year ago, while revenues increased 86% to $69 million from $37 million.
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