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Archer Daniels 4Q Takes Hit From Blocked Buyout

posted on February 7, 2014

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported a 26.7 percent decline in its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday on costs from its thwarted takeover of Australian grain handler GrainCorp.

CEO Patricia Woertz said the company's corn business benefited from lower costs while its agricultural services business was impacted by "slow farmer-selling of corn and challenges in international merchandising."

Woertz said the company completed a two-year cost saving plan in the most recent quarter. In December ADM announced it would move its international headquarters to Chicago from Decatur, Ill., where it's been headquartered for 44 years. Decatur will become the company's North American headquarters.

The company said its net income fell to $374 million, or 56 cents per share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with $510 million, or 77 cents per share, a year earlier. Results were weighed down by expenses from the company's unsuccessful takeover of GrainCorp.

In late November the Australian government blocked ADM's $3.1 billion takeover bid for GrainCorp, which stores grain and related commodities. Australia's treasurer said the deal was not in the country's national interest. ADM owns nearly a 20 percent stake in GrainCorp and proposed to buy the remaining 80 percent interest in the company.

Excluding costs of the unsuccessful deal and other one-time expenses the company would have earned 95 cents per share, up 58 percent from 60 cents in the same period last year. Revenue fell 3 percent to $24.14 billion from $24.9 billion a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet predicted earnings per share of 85 cents per share on revenue of $25.3 billion.

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland Company slipped 9 cents to $38.82 in midday trading. Its shares have risen more than 36 percent over the past year.
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