ADM reports fourth-quarter losses

By Bryan Sims | August 04, 2008
Web exclusive posted August 8, 2008 at 9:38 a.m. CST

Decatur, Ill.-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. announced that its fourth-quarter net earnings fell 61 percent to $372 million, down from $954.8 million during the same period last year. The company's fourth-quarter earnings report ended June 30.

Boosted by gains from asset sales a year earlier, ADM's revenue rose 78 percent to $21.78 billion, up from $12.21 billion, even as corn, soybean and wheat prices hit record highs during the quarter. Grain prices have since fallen sharply due to favorable U.S. crop weather and profit-taking.

ADM's corn processing segment, the biggest profit contributor last year, rose 14 percent to $262 million due primarily to higher ethanol sales volume and higher average selling prices for sweeteners and starches. Its oilseeds processing dropped 37 percent to $375 million because of a year-earlier gain of $440 million from the exchange of ADM's interest in Chinese ventures for shares in Wilmar International Ltd.

For the fiscal year 2008, ADM said its segment operating profit hit a record $3.4 billion. Profit from producing corn-based ethanol rose 15 percent to $142 million because of higher sales volume "due to good demand," ADM said.

ADM is the third-largest U.S. ethanol producer, with approximately 1.07 billion gallons of annual capacity. POET LLC is the country's largest ethanol producer with a capacity of about 1.33 billion gallons, followed by VeraSun Energy Corp., according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

"ADM's 2008 results demonstrate the ability of our people to leverage our global assets against an exceptional set of opportunities," said Patricia Woertz, chairman and chief executive officer for ADM. "We had an outstanding year, highlighted by record segment operating profit. ADM met the needs of food, feed, fuel and industrial customers even as strong demand for crops and commodities challenged the global supply chain."

To view ADM's quarterly report in its entirety, visit