Federal Agricultural Mortgage
, which buys loans made to farmers and ranchers, reversed last year's losses, sending shares soaring 124% in afternoon trading.
The company, also known as Farmer Mac, saw a profit of $33.5 million, or $3.31 a diluted share, propelled by gains on financial derivatives and trading assets, which offset losses in the ethanol sector. This compares with a loss of $8.3 million, or 84 cents a diluted share, in the year prior.
"As we look ahead, we expect any credit losses to remain within manageable levels," President and CEO Michael Gerber said in a statement. "Lenders in both the agricultural and rural utilities sectors continue to face both capital markets and economic challenges. Farmer Mac continues to make progress in positioning itself to help lenders meet the increasing borrowing needs of their customers."
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