ADM financial results weakened
after the US grain processor's quarterly earnings fell short of
Shares in Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) fell by 6 per cent yesterday after the US grain processor's quarterly earnings fell short of expectations because of investment losses and higher energy costs. ADM reported fiscal third quarter earnings of $93.15m, or 15 cents per share, compared with $103.03m, or 16 cents per share, in the quarter a year ago. Analysts' consensus estimates were 23 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. The company attributed some of the blame to a pre-tax loss of $4.5m in its private equity fund investments, compared to a $51m gain last time. Energy costs also rose by $39m in the quarter. The company's shares fell 66 cents to $11. However, operating profits rose almost 22 per cent to $183m, helped by better margins on oilseed crushing, and solid pricing for ethanol and lysine - an amino acid. Total sales rose 15 per cent to $5.130bn. The company said livestock feed meal and grain exports continued to be weak in Europe, due to mass herd culls in the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and ongoing consumer concern over genetically-modified grains.