Grain Trader ADM Beats Quarterly Profit Estimates As Costs Ease

By Reuters
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Grain Trader ADM Beats Quarterly Profit Estimates As Costs Ease

Global grain trader Archer-Daniels-Midland beat market estimates for first-quarter 2024 profit as lower energy and manufacturing costs led to an increase of 15 cents per share in segment operating profit from a year earlier.

The results were stronger than Wall Street analysts expected, thanks largely to results in ADM's corporate and other segments, Stephens analyst said in a note.

"All in, these results are fairly consistent with where we think investor expectations reside, as the market looks for more visibility on the balance of the year," Stephens analysts wrote.

Pressure On Profits

ADM and its trading and processing rivals Bunge and Cargill Inc have seen their profits pressured as global crop supplies have swelled and prices slumped from recent historic highs.

The agribusinesses make money by processing, trading and shipping crops around the world. Stiff South American competition has led to weak US crop export demand, pressuring ADM, which has the largest share of its grain assets there.


Oil and gas prices have declined compared to the peaks reached in 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, however, benefiting ADM.

Adjusted operating profit at ADM's Ag Services and Oilseeds division, which includes soybean crushing and trading businesses, fell to $864 million, compared with $1.21 billion a year earlier.

Carbohydrate Solutions, a division housing ADM's ethanol and sweeteners operations, saw its adjusted operating profit drop to $248 million, compared with $279 million a year earlier.

Nutrition Division

Touted by executives as the future of ADM, the Nutrition division had seen explosive growth until profits began to erode in late 2022.


On Tuesday, the Nutrition unit reported an adjusted operating profit of $84 million, down from $138 million for the prior year period.

The drop, the company said, was due in part to a steadying texturants market that impacted the unit's margins, as well as unplanned downtime at its Decatur East facility, where an explosion occurred in September.

The Chicago-based company reported adjusted earnings of $1.46 per share, for the three months ended 31 March, compared with analysts' average estimate of $1.36 per share.

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