Consumer Products

Why ADM Q3 Earnings Fell Short

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) reported third-quarter 2015 earnings Tuesday morning. The agribusiness giant posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.60 on revenues of $16.57 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.86 on revenues of $18.12 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.70 and $17.77 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, EPS totaled $0.41, which excludes approximately $0.19 of losses on debt extinguishment, $0.04 of gains on asset sales, $0.07 of LIFO inventory credits, $0.10 of charges related to asset impairments and restructurings, and a $0.01 charge to update the estimated annual effective tax rate.

The company did not offer financial guidance in its press release, but the consensus estimates for the fourth quarter of 2015 call for EPS of $0.96 on revenues of $20.89 billion. For the full year, analysts expect EPS of $3.02 on revenues of $74.6 billion.

In the company’s four divisions, revenues slipped from $7.04 billion to $6.60 billion in Ag Services, from $3.03 billion to $2.52 billion in Corn Processing and from $7.70 billion to $6.75 billion in Oilseeds Processing. Revenues rose from $264 million to $588 million in the Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients division.

Adjusted operating profits also fell in two of the company’s three large divisions. Ag Services profits dropped from $310 million to $149 million and Corn Processing profit fell from $348 million to $131 million. Profits were up in the Oilseeds Processing division, from $317 million to $335 million and up from $65 million to $70 million in Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients.

Lower North American export margins and volumes hurt profits in Ag Services, while lower bioproduct sales (primarily ethanol) hurt profits in Corn Processing.

CEO Juan Luciano said:

We continue to execute our strategic plan. Among other actions, we’ve closed on the sale of the global cocoa business, acquired Eatem Foods, and closed the Eaststarch transaction. We’re also making strong progress in driving operational efficiencies, which will further enhance our cost position. And we remain committed to our balanced approach to capital allocation for our shareholders.

ADM’s shares closed up 1.3% on Monday, at $46.27 in a 52-week range of $40.66 to $53.91. Shares were inactive Tuesday morning. The consensus price target on the stock was $50.56 before the latest report.

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