The Chicago-based company reported net income of $233 million, or 41 cents a share, down from $393 million, or 70 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings came to 46 cents a share. Revenue totaled $15.3 billion, down from the year-ago figure of $15.5 billion.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected the company to report quarterly earnings of 60 cents a share on sales of $15.6 billion.
"The first quarter proved more challenging than initially expected," Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano said in a statement. "Impacts from severe weather in North America were on the high side of our initial estimates, and the ethanol industry environment limited margins and opportunities."
Luciano said the company is optimistic about the second half of the year due to "the continued advancement of our strategy, combined with an anticipated resolution of the U.S.-China trade situation and an expected acceleration of soybean meal demand driven by African Swine Fever."
Among other steps, the company plans to repurpose its corn wet mill in Marshall, Minnesota, to produce higher volumes of food and industrial-grade starches as well as liquid feedstocks for food and industrial uses to meet customer demand.