Archer Daniels Midland's
fourth-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by a big gain from asset sales, while revenue for the period jumped 28%.
For the quarter ended June 30, the agricultural giant's profit jumped to $954.8 million, or $1.47 a share, from $410.3 million, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier.
The results included gains totaling $616 million for items such as the exchange of interests in certain Chinese joint ventures and the sale of Agricore United, an agricultural services business. They also included smaller charges, like a $19 million charge for asset impairment and a $29 million charge on debt repurchases.
Sales rose to $12.21 billion from $9.55 billion last year. That handily topped analysts' average estimate of $10.13 billion, based on a Thomson Financial survey.
The company -- the nation's largest producer of corn-based ethanol -- said its corn processing business recorded a $45 million drop in profits to $241 million, due primarily to higher corn costs and lower ethanol volume.
Meanwhile, its oilseeds processing business saw profits benefit from a $440 million gain from the Chinese joint venture sale. Excluding the gain, profits slid to $147 million from $195 million last year, which Archer Daniels attributed to a decline in European rapeseed and biodiesel margins and the year-earlier inclusion of $27 million in tax credits.
In the agricultural services segment, profits rose by $5 million to $88 million, excluding a $153 million gain from the sale of the company's interest in Agricore United.
"Our realignment and sale of assets are on target," said CEO Patricia Woertz in a statement. "Our strategic capital projects are all on schedule, and we see adequate global crops to meet all needs. We remain very confident in our strategic direction."