ADM Profit Misses Street View, Revenue Up 78 Percent


Archer Daniels Midland, one of the largest U.S. food processors and ethanol producers, reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit even as revenue jumped more than Wall Street had anticipated.

Archer Daniels

Earnings fell 61 percent to $372 million, or 58 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on June 30 from $954.8 million, or $1.47 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected profit of 68 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates. The year-earlier results included after-tax gains of 95 cents per share from asset sales.

Revenue rose 78 percent to $21.78 billion from $12.21 billion, beating Wall Street forecasts of $15.36 billion, as corn, soybean and wheat prices hit record highs.

Grain prices have since fallen sharply on favorable U.S. crop weather and profit-taking.

Corn processing profit rose 14 percent to $262 million due to higher ethanol sales volume and higher average selling prices for sweeteners and starches.

Oilseeds processing profit dropped 37 percent to $375 million because of a year-earlier gain of $440 million from the exchange of ADM's interest in Chinese ventures for shares in Wilmar International.

Agricultural services profit dropped 57 percent to $106 million because of a year-earlier gain of $153 million from the sale of Agricore United.

For fiscal 2008, ADM said its segment operating profit hit a record $3.4 billion.

Shares of the Decatur, Illinois-based company have fallen 39 percent this year, compared with a 4.7 percent drop in the Dow Jones U.S. food producers index.

ADM stock has suffered because of concerns that record corn prices will erode ethanol margins and the U.S. government may reduce incentives to produce alterative fuels from crops.