Adjusted earnings per share were 50¢, primarily reflecting a 16¢ charge related to ADM’s planned divestment of Gruma. Segment operating profit was $498 million, including a $146 million charge related to Gruma.
“Our first-quarter segment results were mixed,” said ADM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patricia Woertz. “Oilseeds performance was strong, the ethanol industry experienced sustained negative margins, and Agricultural Services managed well through a complicated quarter, challenged by the drought.”
Oilseeds Processing profit increased $116 million to $336 million, with year-over-year improvements in crushing and origination business in all regions. Crushing and origination operating profit was $256 million, up $150 million from the year-ago quarter on strong improvements by all three geographies.
ADM’s U.S. soybean operations delivered very strong results amid good U.S. demand and meal exports. In Europe, soybean and rapeseed crushing earnings improved significantly.
Refining, packaging, biodiesel and other generated a profit of $28 million for the quarter, down $27 million, with steady results in North and South America offset by weaker European biodiesel results.
Corn Processing profit was $68 million, a decrease of $115 million as continued negative ethanol margins more than offset improved results from sweeteners and starches. Sweeteners and starches operating profit increased $64 million to $94 million, as tight sweetener industry capacity supported higher year-over-year selling prices. The year-ago quarter’s results were negatively impacted by higher net corn costs related to the timing effects of economic hedges.
Bioproducts results in the quarter decreased $179 million to a loss of $26 million. Weak U.S. ethanol exports, strong Brazilian imports and slow E15 implementation kept industry margins negative.
Agricultural Services operating profit excluding the Gruma charge was $224 million, down $99 million from the same period one year earlier.
Merchandising and handling earnings fell $101 million to $108 million, mostly due to weaker U.S. merchandising results impacted by the smaller U.S. harvest.
Transportation results decreased $9 million to $19 million impacted by low barge freight utilization driven by reduced corn exports.
Milling and other results increased $11 million, excluding the Gruma charge. Milling results remained strong, and ADM Alliance Nutrition saw improved margins amid stronger demand.