Bunge quarterly net income up dramatically
July 24, 2008
by Josh Sosland
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Net income of Bunge Ltd., in the second quarter ended June 30, was $751 million, equal to $5.45 per share on the common stock, up 347% from $168 million, or $1.30 per share, in the second quarter last year. Net sales were $14,365 million, up 73%. Gross profit at Bunge more than doubled from the second quarter last year in three of the company’s divisions — Agribusiness, up 183%, to $745 million; Fertilizer, up 232%, to $521 million; and Milling Products, up 122%, to $80 million. Second-quarter profits in the company’s remaining division, Edible Oil Products, climbed a "modest" 38%, to $105 million. "The second quarter was characterized by good demand and strong margins," said Alberto Weisser, Bunge’s chairman and chief executive officer. Commenting on the pending acquisition of Corn Products International, announced during the second quarter, Mr. Weisser said, "Corn Products will expand our operations into highly complementary corn wet milling value chain. It will provide new opportunities for growth and amore diverse revenue stream." He said that strong worldwide demand for commodities will boost the market for fertilizers but warned that the high-priced commodities and volatility create an "environment that will require disciplined use of working capital and effective risk management." In the six months ended June 30, Bunge net income was $1,040 million, or $7.56 per share, up 471% from $182 million, or $1.35. Sales were $26,834 million, up 72%. After trading on the New York Stock Exchange as high as $106.67 per share July 24, Bunge shares fell sharply (with the overall market) toward the close of trading, finishing at $97.07, down $2.25.