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Taxes Clip Corn Products' Profit

Net sales rise 4% to $612 million in the third quarter.
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A higher tax rate cut in to

Corn Products International's

(CPO)

earnings for the third quarter, but the company said good performances in Mexico, Asia and Africa offset operational issues in the U.S. and a big increase in energy costs.

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Corn Products earned $23.1 million, or 31 cents a share, in the latest quarter. A year ago, the Westchester, Ill., corn refiner earned $24 million, or 32 cents a share. The latest quarter's results were hurt by 7 cents a share because the tax rate was 45%, compared with 33% last year.

Net sales rose 4% to $612 million from $587 million, Corn Products said.

Corn Products, the world's top producer of dextrose and a leading regional supplier of starch, high fructose corn syrup and glucose, is forecasting full-year earnings of $1.16 to $1.22 a share, down from $1.25 in 2004.

According to Thomson First Call, analysts were expecting Corn Products to have a profit of 26 cents in the third quarter. The consensus estimate for the year is $1.17.