The Decatur, Ill., company reported a third-quarter profit of $441 million, or 68 cents a share, up from $403 million, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $12.83 billion from $9.45 billion the prior year.
The results handily beat analysts' average forecast for earnings of 59 cents a share and sales of $10.64 billion.
Sales benefited from sharply higher commodity prices, which lifted selling prices. ADM said increased selling prices accounted for about 75% of its sales increase, while the remainder was due to higher volumes, mainly in vegetable oil and wheat.Among ADM's segments, growth in the oilseeds processing and agricultural services segment helped offset a profit decline in its corn processing division. ADM -- a top producer of ethanol, a fuel derived from corn -- said the 12% drop in the division's profits reflected lower ethanol sales prices, higher corn costs and tough comparisons from year-ago strength. Profits in oilseeds processing rose 23% amid improved margins, ADM said. In agricultural services, earnings nearly doubled due to higher grain merchandising and handling results. Shares of ADM jumped $2.06, or 6%, to $36.58 in early trading Tuesday.