CHICAGO — Net income at Archer Daniels Midland Co. fell 28% in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, as operating profit in the company’s Agricultural Services and Corn Processing segments finished lower than a year ago.
Net income in the second quarter ended June 30 totaled $386 million, equal to 62c per share on the common stock, down from $533 million, or 81c per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues fell 20% to $17,186 million from $21,494 million.
Despite the lower year-over-year results, Juan Luciano, president and chief executive officer, said second-quarter financials demonstrated the strength and value of ADM’s geographic and business portfolio diversity.
“In corn, domestic and export demand for ethanol was robust, but record industry production limited margins,” he said during an Aug. 4 conference call with analysts. “This was partially offset by strong results from our corn sweeteners and starches business. In oilseeds, good meal demand supported strong North American crushing results, and South American origination and export volumes were up, leading to good throughput at our expanded origination and board network. This, combined with the flexibility of our global crush plants, helped the oilseeds team deliver another strong performance.
“The Wild Flavors and special ingredients team had an excellent quarter and continues to make great progress toward achieving their targeted cost and revenue synergies. Our services earnings were impacted by lower margins and volumes of North American exports, as they were less competitive globally, and by a sharp upward move in commodity prices at the end of the quarter. But within our ag services segment, the milling business had record second-quarter results.”
Operating profit in the Oilseeds Processing unit was $301 million, up narrowly from $297 million in the same period a year ago. Crushing and origination profit increased to $198 million from $163 million.
“Oilseeds had another consistent, solid quarter similar to last year,” Mr. Luciano said. “In crushing and origination, large global bean supply and a strong U.S. mill demand drove great global soy crush results. In the first half of 2015, we crushed record volumes of soybeans globally. As part of our strategic plan for oilseeds, we’ve added switch capacity to more of our North American crush plants, and we’ve profited from our global switch capacity in a weak, softened margin environment this quarter.”
Agricultural Services operating profit decreased 31% to $127 million from $184 million, as both merchandising and handling and transportation results declined. Milling and other results improved to $67 million from $42 million during the quarter.
Also lower during the quarter was operating profit within the Corn Processing unit, which fell 30% to $188 million from $268 million. Sweeteners and starches results improved behind good North American sweetener volumes and margins, good demand for co-products and solid results from the Almex and Eaststarch joint ventures, but bioproducts results fell to $43 million from $145 million. Bioproducts results were affected adversely by lower ethanol industry margins, the company said.
Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients operating profit totaled $104 million in the second quarter. There were no comparable results to a year ago.
“The Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit delivered more than $100 million in earnings and excellent performance,” Mr. Luciano explained. “Wild Flavors had strong results in North America. To provide some context, it’s worth noting that in 2014 North America represented slightly more than half of the profits for Wild Flavors globally. And despite microeconomic headwinds, flavor profits in Europe were in line with our plans. And this quarter was one of the best ever for our specialty projects business. Among other highlights, the customer launched the first retail product with our Textura customized inclusions.
“The W.F.S.I. business, with products ranging from protein specialties to ancient grains to natural flavors, is a key component in ADM’s efforts to serve customers with on-trend products to grow their business.”
Providing an update on acquisitions and investments, Mr. Luciano said ADM expanded its farmer services offering with an investment in Agri Port, a leader in on-farm analytical and forecasting tools, and closed the sale of a 50% stake in its Barcarena port to Glencore. The company also closed the sale of its global chocolate business to Cargill and is on track to close its acquisition of Eaststarch in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Mr. Luciano said that an agreement announced in May to acquire Meiweiyuan Biotechnology Co., a privately held sweetener manufacturer in China, fell through.For the first half of fiscal 2015, net income was $879 million, or $1.39 per share, up 10% from $800 million, or $1.21 per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenues were $34,692 million, down 18% from $42,190 million.