CHICAGO — “Challenging external conditions,” including unfavorable weather impacts, dragged down earnings at Archer Daniels Midland Co. in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
Net earnings attributable to ADM in the quarter ended June 30 totaled $235 million, equal to 42c per share on the common stock, down 58% from $566 million, or $1 per share, in the same period a year ago. The most recent quarter included $136 million in charges related to impairment of certain assets and restructuring, which compared with $24 million in such charges a year ago.
Revenues for the second quarter eased 5%, falling to $16,297 million from $17,068 million.
“Over the first half of this year, we faced widespread external headwinds, including extreme weather that had a negative impact of $65 million in the second quarter and $125 million in total for the first half of the year,” Juan R. Luciano, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said during an Aug. 1 conference call with analysts. “The team executed well to minimize these headwinds, and we undertook a series of aggressive actions that, combined with the absence of severe weather going forward, will help deliver a stronger second half and set us up well for 2020.”
Operating profit in the Origination segment decreased 63% in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, falling to $71 million from $191 million. Merchandising and handling profit fell 58% during the quarter to $68 million, while transportation profit plunged sharply to $3 million from $31 million.
“In the second quarter, the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute and the lack of U.S. competitiveness, particularly for corn, limited North American export volumes and margins,” said Ray G. Young, executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
Oilseeds Processing profit fell 15% in the second quarter to $291 million. Crushing and origination results decreased 23% to $150 million, while refining, packaging, biodiesel and other fell 16%. Asia increased 19% during the quarter.
“In North America, crush volumes were down, mainly due to production outages caused by high water at the company’s Quincy, Ill., facility,” Mr. Young said. “That high water resulted in a negative impact of about $10 million for the quarter.”
Operating profit in the Carbohydrate Solutions segment decreased 22% in the second quarter to $192 million. Starches and sweeteners profit eased 9% during the quarter, and the company’s bioproducts unit suffered a loss of $26 million in the period, which compared with income of $9 million in the same period a year ago.
In starches and sweeteners, flour milling margins in North America were pressured because of a “market environment that limited wheat-basis opportunities,” Mr. Young said.
In the Nutrition segment operating profit increased to $117 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, up from $114 million a year ago. Within the segment, WFSI profit fell to $103 million from $106 million, but animal nutrition improved to $14 million from $8 million.