Corn Products income jumps 72%

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Largely the result of higher North and South American results due to pricing actions, net income for Corn Products International, Inc. increased 72% during the third quarter.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Corn Products had net income of $88.1 million, equal to $1.18 per share on the common stock, up from $51.1 million, or 68c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $1,084.2 million, up 24% from $877.4 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The quarter marked the eleventh consecutive quarter of record level sales, and the recent quarter’s increased sales reflect a strong price and product mix.

In North America, operating income was $105 million, up 80% compared with $58 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales were up 22% to $660 million compared with $542 million during the same quarter of 2007.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company posted net income of $220.8 million, or $2.97 per share, up 46% from $151.7 million, or $2.03 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $3,043.6 million, up 22% from $2,496.3 million during the same period of 2007.

Corn Products expects full-year 2008 earnings per share to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.60, an increase from the previously announced range of $3.15 to $3.35.

In addition, the company provided an update on the acquisition by Bunge.

"Since the announcement of the merger, Corn Products and Bunge have been engaged in preparations for the integration of our two companies," said Sam Scott, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Bunge and Corn Products currently anticipate that the special shareholders’ meeting of both companies will be held in mid-to-late December rather than in November as previously anticipated. We are disappointed in the performance of the stock prices of our two companies, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."

The companies announced their intent to merge on June 23. On June 20, Corn Products’ share price closed at $42.90. It rose to $54.96 on June 23 before closing at $50.16. The company’s stock opened at $21.35 on Oct. 24 but dipped to $20 in early morning trading. Bunge’s share price, meanwhile, closed at $122.17 on June 20. It rose to a high of $127.64 the day the merger was announced before closing at $110.70 that same day. The company’s stock opened at $37.99 on Oct. 24, but fell to $33.22 in early trading.

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