Archer Daniels Midland Company 's ADM adjusted earnings of 60 cents per share for third-quarter 2015 dipped 30.2% year over year and fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 71 cents.
On a reported basis, Archer Daniels' earnings were 41 cents per share compared with $1.41 per share earned in the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue of $16,565 million fell 8.6% year over year and lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $17,691 million. Soft revenues resulted from lower sales at all of its operating segments expect the WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business.
Going by segments, quarterly revenues at Archer Daniels' Agricultural Services segment plunged 6.2% to $6,603 million, the Oilseeds Processing segment's revenues declined 12.3% to $6,747 million, and the Corn Processing segment's revenues descended 16.9% to $2,519 million, all on a year-over-year basis.
On the positive side, revenues at the Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients segment witnessed a significant jump of $324 million to $588 million, with other revenues advancing 30.1% to $108 million in the reported quarter.
Archer Daniels reported adjusted segment operating profit of $684 million, down 27.3% from the year-ago quarter. On a GAAP basis, the company's segment operating profit was $709 million compared with $1,073 million last year.
On a segmental adjusted basis, the Oilseeds Processing segment's operating profit of $276 million fell $72 million year over year. Strong global soybean crushing results coupled with solid South American origination results led to the upside. This was slightly compensated by lower softseed and refining results.
Archer Daniels' Corn Processing segment's operating profit declined 51.6% from year-ago quarter to $165 million. The decline is primarily due to lower ethanol industry margins which impacted bioproducts results. This was somewhat negated by solid sweeteners and starches results among tight supplies.
Operating profit for the Agricultural Services segment descended $5 million year over year to $149 million owing to lower margins and volumes in North American exports, resulting from a stronger U.S. dollar and abundant global supplies of grain, partly offset by record gains from milling operations.
The Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients segment's operating profit increased $5 million to $70 million driven by contributions from Wild Flavors and SCI. However, the company noted that results were challenged by higher-than-anticipated macroeconomic headwinds including weak demand from certain emerging markets along with a stronger U.S. dollar.
Archer Daniels ended the first three quarters of 2015 with $720 million in cash and cash equivalents. At the end of third-quarter 2015, long-term debt including current maturities was $5,843 million. Shareholders' equity as of Sep 30, 2015 was $17,878 million.
During the nine months ended Sep 30, Archer Daniels generated $1,098 million of cash from operating activities.
Apart from this, the company generated strong returns with its trailing four-quarter average adjusted ROIC reflecting a 40 basis points (bps) decline from last year. At the end of the quarter, adjusted ROIC was 8.3%, up 170 bps from the annual WACC of 6.6%.
Moreover, the company returned $2.3 billion to shareholders during the first nine months of 2015, in the form of share repurchases and dividend payments. In first nine months of 2015, Archer Daniels bought back about 37.5 million shares.
Yesterday, Archer Daniels successfully closed the previously announced acquisition of some of the assets of its 50-50 joint venture with Tate & Lyle, Eaststarch C.V. As part of the transaction, Archer Daniels now has full ownership of two corn wet mills in Bulgaria and Turkey, along with a 50% stake in the wet mill in Hungary.
With the acquisition of these corn assets from Eaststarch, Archer Daniels expects to cater to the growing demand for sweeteners, and also enhance its capability to satisfy the increasing demand for Starch in Europe.
Other actions that testify the company's progress on its strategic plan include the sale of the global cocoa business and the acquisition of Eatem Foods.
Archer Daniels currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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