Cargill Reveals Sharp Drop in Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2012 Earnings

August 9, 2012 04:54 AM

Citing "poor trading," Cargill today announced its annual earnings fell 56% versus a year earlier. Cargill also said fourth-quarter earnings (March-May) fell 82% compared to a year earlier. Total fiscal year (ending May 31, 2012) earnings from continuing operations are $1.17 billion compared to a record $2.69 billion in the prior year. Fourth-quarter earnings were $73 million versus $404 million in the same period a year ago. 

“Cargill’s earnings performance was not up to our expectations, though with notable exceptions,” said Greg Page, Cargill chairman and chief executive officer. “Our 26-unit food ingredients group delivered a third consecutive year of record earnings. One-third of our businesses exceeded last year’s results, and nine achieved record profits. We invested more than $4 billion globally in acquisitions, new and expanded facilities, and capital improvements that support both our customers’ and our company’s growth.” 

Page said two factors accounted for much of the change in company results. “Cargill’s global market analysis of supply and demand, and our trading expertise are long-standing strengths. Even so, we did not trade as well in this year’s markets, which were driven as much by the economic and political environment as by the fundamentals. Cyclical trends in the global soybean processing and North American beef industries also were in play, decreasing margins in parts of Cargill’s oilseed processing and beef processing operations.” 

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