(Adds restructuring details, CEO comment, share price)
CHICAGO, July 19 (Reuters) - Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd said on Wednesday it was cutting costs and restructuring its global operations in response to tough market conditions, sending its shares lower in after-hours trading.
Bunge, which was targeted for a possible takeover by commodities trader Glencore Plc in May, said it would cut capital expenditure targets for 2018 and 2019 and that its second-quarter profit would fall below the range of analyst estimates.
Massive global grain stockpiles and low prices following four years of bumper harvests around the world have dragged down profits for Bunge and other global grains traders. Companies have tried to diversify away from commodities trading through asset sales and buying higher-value businesses like flavorings and natural ingredients.
Bunge expects its plans would reduce overhead costs by $250 million once the plan is fully implemented by the end of 2019.
Limited farmer sales of crops in South America, home to a large share of Bunge's elevators and processing plants, squeezed margins for the company's agribusiness division, its largest in terms of revenue. Farmers are holding back supplies in the hope of better prices for their crops.
"Market conditions during the second quarter were challenging, driven by unprecedented farmer retention in South America, which pressured margins throughout the chain," Chief Executive Soren Schroder said in a statement.
The company scheduled a conference call to discuss the plan on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).
Bunge shares fell 3.4 percent to $76.00 in after-hours trade. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Tom Brown and Richard Chang)