ADM's earnings surge during the third quarter

by Keith Nunes
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CHICAGO – The Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s earnings surged during the third quarter of fiscal 2014 due to strong performances from the company’s Corn Processing and Agricultural Services business units. Corn processing operating profit nearly doubled from $180 million during the same period of the previous year to $356 million, and Agricultural Services saw its operating profit increase $57 million compared to a year ago.

As a result, ADM’s net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to $747 million, equal to $1.14 per share on the common stock, and well above the previous year’s results when the company earned $476 million, equal to 72c per share.

Revenues for the quarter fell to $18,117 million from $21,393 million the previous year.

“The team delivered very strong results in the third quarter and made significant progress improving earnings and returns,” said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer. “Corn Processing managed their product mix to serve good demand and optimize margins. Continued improvement in international merchandising results supported the ongoing recovery of Ag Services. And Oilseeds Processing again delivered solid results overall, benefiting from good demand and its diverse footprint and product portfolio.”

Within the Corn Processing business unit, sweeteners and starches results increased $63 million to $171 million, with lower than average selling prices offset by lower corn costs, according to the company. Bioproducts results increased $113 million to $185 million due to consistent demand for ethanol.

International merchandising and transportation drove the results for the Agricultural Services business. Merchandising and handling earnings rose $60 million to $64 million during the quarter while transportation results rose $14 million to $35 million. Milling and other results fell $17 million to $60 million on lower margins and volumes, according to the company.

Operating profit within the Oilseeds business held steady at $366 million. Crushing and origination operating profit fell $28 million to $214 million while cocoa and other businesses earned $30 million during the quarter.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2014, ADM earned $1,547 million, equal to $2.35 per share, and well ahead of fiscal 2013 when the company earned $968 million, equal to $1.46 per share.

Sales for the period were $60,307 million, down from $65,661 million during the first nine months of fiscal 2013.
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