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Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported third quarter earnings Tuesday of $536 million on Tuesday.

DECATUR — Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported third-quarter net income of $536 million, officials said Tuesday morning, exceeding market expectations.

The company said it had net income of 94 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 92 cents per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 80 cents per share.

Net income for the same quarter in 2017 had been $192 million, or 34 cents per share.

“The team delivered another strong quarter, capitalizing on robust global demand with good execution and great utilization of our global footprint,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano in a statement.

The headquarters for the massive corn and oilseeds processing operations are based in Decatur and is the city's largest employer with more than 4,000 employees.

The agribusiness giant posted revenue of $15.8 billion in the period, which ended Sept. 30. 

ADM shares have climbed 20 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen slightly more than 2 percent. The company's stock has increased 21 percent in the last 12 months.

"For the last several years, through good conditions and bad, we've remained focused on serving our customers and delivering our strategic plan — optimizing our core, driving efficiencies, and expanding strategically,” Luciano said.

“Now, as we look forward to 2019, we are continuing to enhance our earnings power, both through our growth investments and our Readiness initiative, which is beginning to drive fundamental changes in the way we run our company.”

Decatur plant downtime issues continued to impact North American results, Luciano said. The company is making some long-term upgrades to the Decatur corn facility, which should be completed by the end of the year, said Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ray Young.

“We are anticipating a strong year,” Luciano added. “Across the company, we are seeing the team perform well and we are realizing the benefits from our actions. Things are going well, but we can't stand still. We must keep getting better. We have enormous potential and a great opportunity to build on our position of strength and take our performance to a new level.”

Luciano said he felt it was “an exciting time” at ADM and expects 2019 to be an even stronger year for the company.

“We believe clearly that in 2019, we can grow earnings versus 2018,” he said. “Demand continues to be robust across our businesses and we have a lot of momentum in the markets for our businesses. We always look at supply and demand and right now, there continues to be a healthy demand for soybeans.”

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