Cargill 2Q earnings tumble 59 percent

Jan 22, 2010
by DTN

Cargill Inc.’s fiscal secondquarter earnings fell 59 percent as profit declined from record levels a year earlier in its processing business while its roughly two-thirds stake in Mosaic Co. again weighed on results.

Cargill depends on its diversity to insulate it from volatility in its commodity businesses. The company’s businesses range from processing crops to trading complex financial instruments.

For the quarter ended Nov. 30, profit fell to $489 million from $1.19 billion. The company doesn’t provide revenue figures.

Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Greg Page noted the agribusiness gi ant’s earnings in the first half of the fiscal year were up 50 percent from the last half of the previous fiscal year amid cost controls and “tapping both developed and faster-growing emerging markets.”

For the latest quarter, earnings at the company’s food-ingredient and agricultural-services businesses “rose significantly” and results at its risk management and financial segment were “much improved” as global financial markets recovered, said Page. A year earlier, the risk-management and financial segment posted their first quarterly loss in a decade.

But Cargill’s industrial segment suffered amid the

results from Mosaic, which has seen its fortunes decline along with slumping commodities prices. The weakness is in contrast to the year-earlier period when Cargill’s earnings would have fallen without the boost from Mosaic.

Absent Mosaic, Cargill said earnings in the latest quarter still would have been “moderately” lower. — DTN