Corn Products earnings surge in 2010

by Josh Sosland
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WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Net income of Corn Products International, Inc. in the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, was $176.1 million, equal to $2.24 per share on the common stock, up 277% from $46.7 million, or 55c per share, in 2009. Net sales were $4,631.9 million, up 19%.

Excluding impairment and restructuring items in both years and acquisition integration and financing costs related to the purchase of Natural Starch, net income per share in 2010 was $3.24, up 61% from $2.01 the year before.

“We’re pleased to report strong results for the full year, primarily driven by organic volume growth, lower input costs, higher utilization rates and the impact of owning National Starch of the entire fourth quarter,” said Ilene Gordon, chairman, president an chief executive officer.

Corn Products estimated National Starch operations contributed 23c per share to the company’s fourth-quarter results.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $53.5 million, equal to 68c per share, down 7% from $56.3 million, or 75c, in the fourth quarter last year. Net sales were $1,487.9 million, up 46%.

The fourth quarter of 2010 included 38c of charges related to the acquisition, integration and other costs associated with National Starch. Absent these items, earnings per share were up 42%, the company said. “Other costs” were the largest part of this formula. In its earnings statement, Corn Products itemized $500,000 in impairment/restructuring charges in the fourth quarter of 2010 and none for the same period in 2009. By contrast, financing charges were $22.3 million, up 266% from the fourth quarter of 2009. The company’s provision for income taxes was $26.8 million, down 25% from $35.5 million.

The company estimated operating income was up 4% in the fourth quarter from last year.

Full-year operating income was $249 million in the North American Division, up 41% from $177 million in 2009. Corn Products attributed a third of the increase to National Starch. Net sales were $2.44 billion, up 8% from 2009.

North American operating income in the fourth quarter was $84 million, up 36% from $62 million in the fourth quarter last year. Incremental income driven by National Starch was the largest contributor, the company said.

Net sales rose 33% to $738 million in the fourth quarter from $554 million during the same period the year before.

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