Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) business can be classified into three segments: oilseeds processing, corn processing and agricultural services. The company has a huge network of more than 560 processing and sourcing facilities and 27,000 vehicles operating across the Americas, Europe and Asia for transporting agricultural commodities.
Of the 13 analysts covering the stock, 77% recommend a buy, while the remaining rate a hold. There are no sell ratings. On average, analysts estimate a 14.3% upside from current levels.
For the second quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010, Archer recorded a 29% surge in net profit to $732 million, or $1.14 per share, driven largely by a recovery in the ethanol industry and rising demand for grains. Meanwhile, revenue escalated 32% to $20.93 billion.Archer, a dividend growth stock, recently raised its quarterly cash dividend by 6.7% to 16 cents per share, indicating 36th consecutive annual dividend increase. With a dividend yield of 1.8%, the company has managed to increase its distribution by 12.6% every year during the past decade. Looking ahead to 2011, Archer has finalized contracts for corn sweetener shipments, which will see prices rising by 25%, further boosting margins for corn sweetener operations. Besides its strong market presence in the U.S., the company forecasts robust demand from Mexico, as the country sometimes imports high-fructose corn syrup and ships higher-priced sugar back to the U.S. In 2010, corn sweetener shipments to Mexico surged by 90% to 1.5 million tonnes.
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