ADM earnings jump 20% in quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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DECATUR, ILL. — Strong performances from both oilseeds processing and corn processing helped lift Archer Daniel Midland Co. earnings to $441,268,000, or 67c per share, for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, the company reported Thursday. The earnings were 20% higher than second-quarter earnings of $367,677,000, or 56c per share, in the previous year’s second quarter.

Net sales and other operating income of $10,976,039,000 for the second quarter were 18% higher than $9,298,985,000 in the previous year’s second quarter.

The Oilseeds Processing segment recorded operating second-quarter profit of $192,005,000, up from $128,077,000. For the first six months of the fiscal year, the segment’s operating profit increased to $361,650,000 from $227,192,000 principally because of improved gross margins in all geographic regions.

The Corn Processing segment recorded second-quarter operating profit of $335,460,000, up from $236,532,000, and six-month operating profit of $625,958,000, up from $372,790,000. Increased starch, sweetener and ethanol selling prices contributed to the earnings improvement even though net corn costs offset them partially. Within the segment, Sweeteners and Starches had operating profit of $146,188,000, up from $114,043,000, and Bioproducts had operating profit of $189,272,000, up from $122,489,000.

Companywide for the first six months of the fiscal year, Decatur-based ADM reported record net earnings of $844,013,000, or $1.28 per share, which compared with $554,015,000, or 85c per share, in the first six months of the previous year.

ADM’s stock on the New York Stock Exchange opened at $34.31 on Thursday and was trading at $34.89 per share in the late morning.

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