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ADM profits explode on corn prices, farm margins

In what company CEO Patricia Woertz called a fiscal quarter of "unprecedented volatility," Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) officials on Tuesday reported a 42% growth in profits in the quarter ending March 31, according to a company report.

The $517 million in earnings for the quarter compares to $363 million for the same quarter a year ago, or 80 cents per share versus 56 cents per share last year.

"Volatility in commodity markets presented unprecedented opportunities," Woertz said Tuesday morning.

Much of the soar in profits is due to the rise in corn prices, company officials say. Net sales and "other operating income" went up by 64% to $18.7 billion for the quarter. "Selling prices increased due principally to sharp rises in commodity prices," according to a company report.

Other market factors did have a role in the ADM boom. Profitability in the production, processing and financial management sectors led to an operating profit of $913 million for the quarter, up 54% from a year ago's $593 million.

"Oilseeds processing operating profit increased as global demand for protein and oil improved. Corn processing operating profit decreased due principally to higher net corn costs," according to a company report. "Agricultural services operating profit increased as highly volatile market conditions provided exceptional merchandising opportunities. Other segment operating profit increased due to improved margins and increased financial services income."

In what company CEO Patricia Woertz called a fiscal quarter of "unprecedented volatility," Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) officials on Tuesday reported a 42% growth in profits in the quarter ending March 31, according to a company report.

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