DECATUR, Ill., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM)
-- Third quarter earnings per share increased 94% to $0.35 as compared
to $0.18 last year.
-- Segment Operating Profit increased to $502 million from $242 million
-- Oilseeds Processing earnings strengthened in North America and
-- Corn Processing results improved in all major product lines.
-- Wheat Processing profits increased as volumes stabilized and
-- Agricultural Services continued its strong performance.
-- Other segment operations increased as Specialty Food and Feed
Ingredients, Cocoa, and private equity investments continued to
"The strong results this past quarter demonstrate the strength and
balance of ADM's global franchise and the solid performance of our
management team in a challenging business environment."
G. Allen Andreas, Chairman and Chief Executive
Discussion of Operations
Net earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2004 were $227 million, or $.35 per share, compared with $117 million, or $.18 per share, last year. Net earnings for the nine months ended March 31, 2004 were $598 million, or $.92 per share, compared to $356 million, or $.55 per share, last year.
Segment Operating profit increased $260 million to $502 million for the quarter and increased $513 million to $1.3 billion for the nine months as operating profit improvements were realized in all major segments. Oilseed Processing operating profits increased as earnings strengthened in North America and Asia. Lower net corn costs, combined with increased selling prices and volumes in all major corn product lines, resulted in improved operating profits of the Corn Processing segment. Wheat Processing operating profits increased as volumes stabilized and margins improved. Agricultural Services' balanced global grain origination and marketing system continued its strong performance resulting in improved operating profits. Strong demand for transportation also contributed to the earnings gain. Other segment operating profit increased as earnings of the Specialty Food and Feed Ingredients, Cocoa and private equity investments improved over prior year levels. Corporate expense increased $74 million to $163 million for the quarter and increased $135 million to $417 million for the nine months due primarily to LIFO inventory valuation charges of $99 million for the quarter and $160 million for the nine months. Last year's LIFO inventory valuation charges were $4 million for the quarter and $15 million for the nine months. The increased LIFO charges were partially offset by security transaction gains and interest received on the insurance-related lawsuit pertaining to the flood of 1993.
This year's results include asset abandonment charges of $12 million ($8 million after tax, equal to $.01 per share) for the quarter and $41 million ($26 million after tax, equal to $.04 per share) for the nine months. This year's results for the quarter and nine months also include a $21 million ($13 million after tax, equal to $.02 per share) gain from an insurance-related lawsuit pertaining to the flood of 1993 and an $11 million ($7 million after tax, equal to $.01 per share) gain on securities transactions. Last year's results included a $3 million ($2 million after tax) gain for the quarter and a $28 million ($17 million after tax, equal to $.03 per share) gain for the nine months from partial settlements of the Company's claims related to vitamin antitrust litigation. Last year's quarter and nine months results also included an $11 million ($7 million after tax, equal to $.01 per share) charge related to the Company's global settlement with the EPA and a $15 million ($10 million after tax, equal to $.02 per share) gain related to the sale of fixed assets.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is a world leader in agricultural processing. ADM is one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa. ADM is also a leader in the production of soy meal and oil, ethanol, corn sweeteners and flour. In addition, ADM produces value-added food and feed ingredients. Headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, ADM has over 26,000 employees, more than 270 processing plants and net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2003 of $30.7 billion. Additional information can be found on ADM's Web site at http://www.admworld.com .