Archer Daniels Midland 2nd-quarter earnings soar

Corn processing profit shows significant decrease

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Archer Daniels Midland's earnings soared in the second quarter for fiscal year 2013, absent the restructuring costs that negatively affected results for the same period last year.

Decatur, Ill.-based ADM, with significant corn processing operations in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, posted net income of $510 million, or 77 cents per share, for the quarter that ended on Dec. 31, compared with $80 million, or 12 cents per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

The prior-year period included $352 million in impairment, exit and restructuring costs. Removing an accounting gain and other items, earnings were 60 cents per share, compared with 51 cents per share a year ago.

ADM recorded second-quarter revenue of $24.92 billion, up 7 percent from $23.31 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

ADM's corn processing profit decreased $207 million to $3 million. Weak domestic gasoline demand and unfavorable global ethanol trade flows resulted in continued excess industry capacity, keeping ethanol margins negative.

Sweeteners and starches operating profit increased $22 million to $97 million, as tight sweetener industry capacity and higher corn costs supported higher year-over-year selling prices.

Oilseeds processing profit increased $202 million, with year-over-year improvements in crushing and origination results in all regions. ADMís U.S. soybean operations ran at record capacity during the quarter and delivered strong results amid good domestic and export meal demand.

ADM Chairwoman and CEO Patricia Woertz said the company managed well despite challenges from the drought and from persistent, negative margins in the ethanol industry.

"In North America, we fully utilized our oilseeds crushing capacity to meet strong global demand, and we adjusted our transportation and origination network to move goods efficiently despite constrained river traffic and a smaller corn crop," Woertz said. "In South America, we leveraged our origination, transportation and export facilities to move the record corn crop to world markets.

"In Europe, we made some operational changes, and the market responded to reduced imports."

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