Commodities & Metals

ADM Overcomes Low Ethanol Demand and U.S. Drought

Tractor in field on farm
Source: thinkstock
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 earnings this morning. The agribusiness giant posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.60 on revenues of $24.92 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.51 on revenues of $23.31 billion. This morning’s results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.58 and $23.67 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, the company posted EPS of $0.77, up sharply from $0.12 in the second quarter of 2011. GAAP results include an inventory gain of $0.11 per share.

The company’s CEO said:

The ADM team managed well despite challenges from the U.S. drought and from persistent, negative margins in the ethanol industry. Our results in Oilseeds and Agricultural Services demonstrated the ability of our people to use our global asset network to prepare for and manage in a range of market conditions.

The company’s oilseeds division operating profit doubled year-over-year, which more than covered the lost income in the corn processing division, which dived from $207 million in the year-ago quarter to just $3 million in the second quarter. ADM blamed weak domestic demand for gasoline and unfavorable global ethanol trade flows, which conspired to keep ethanol margins negative.

Sales in the company’s oilseeds group were lower sequentially but slightly higher year-over-year. The agricultural services division posted significantly higher revenues and profits year-over-year, due largely to ADM’s acquisition of GrainCorp.

For the third quarter, the consensus analyst estimate calls for EPS of $0.54 on revenues of $22.02 billion.

ADM’s shares are trading up about 2% at $29.00 in the premarket this morning, in a 52-week range of $24.38 to $33.98. The consensus target price for the shares was around $29.60 before today’s report.

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