Bunge Sees First-Quarter Earnings Hurt By Trading Losses

Oilseed processor and fertilizer maker Bunge said first-quarter results would miss Wall Street's view because of losses in trading positions as the physical markets failed to keep pace with gains in the futures market.

Net income for the quarter is expected to be near break-even, falling below the year-ago earnings mark of $58 million, or 48 cents a share.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 74 cents a share, before exceptional items, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company also affirmed its net income forecast for the full year ending Dec. 31, of $590 million to $610 million, or $4.56 to $4.71 a share, which includes an estimated $30 million, or 23 cents a share, related to a gain on sale of assets.

The company said it would post the losses as mark-to-market losses, which represent the book value of forward-trading positions.

"During the first quarter the value of the physical cash commodity markets did not mirror the increase in value in the futures markets, which we use to hedge our commodity inventories and forward purchases," Alberto Weisser, Bunge's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Bunge stock has gained more than 15% so far this year and closed at $83.69 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.