Another reason to choose Houston over Chicago? Houston is a major port, and under Woertz, ADM has acquired seven of the eight largest corn export ports, buying GrainCorp of Australia for about $2.3 billion earlier this year. It was ADM's biggest financial deal to date.
While ADM's stock is up 34% so far this year, it's hard to justify that based on the numbers. At that price, investors are paying 20.74 times last year's earnings, although the drought made 2012 an especially bad year. Its dividend yield is 2.07%.
Most analysts following the stock consider it only a hold, with an average target price just a few dollars higher than what it's trading for now, based on an earnings rebound to $3.24 a share.
The company is never more than marginally profitable, there is no top-line growth, and its only bright spot is cash flow.With the corn syrup market having peaked and the ethanol market showing signs of strain, Woertz seems to have her work cut out for her. Maybe getting back to her energy roots would change that. At the time of publication, the author owned no shares in ADM. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.