Archer Daniels Midland Co the giant U.S. agribusiness group, said on Tuesday that adjusted third-quarter earnings jumped 72 percent as gains in corn processing and agricultural services more than offset flat results in oilseed processing.
But revenues fell from a year ago and missed Wall Street estimates as sharply lower crop prices prompted many farmers to store their corn and soybeans instead of selling them.
Illinois-based ADM reported net earnings of $747 million, or $1.14 per share, up from $476 million, or 72 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
Adjusted earnings were 81 cents per share, up from 47 cents a year ago. Analysts expected 73 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell to $18.18 billion from $21.39 billion a year earlier. Analysts estimated $21.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Oilseeds processing profits were flat at $366 million, supported by improved global oilseed crushing margins but anchored by slow farmer selling in South America.
ADM rivals Cargill and Bunge have blamed slow farmer selling for disappointing results in their most recent quarters. But both forecast stronger results in the current quarter as big harvests in the Northern Hemisphere replenish depleted stocks, which should also benefit ADM.
ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Corp comprise the four large global grain players, dubbed the "ABCD," which dominate the flow of agricultural commodities around the world.
Operating profit in ADM's corn processing segment nearly doubled to $356 million from $180 million a year ago. Tumbling corn prices and strong ethanol demand more than offset the impact from lower sweetener and starch selling prices.
Profit in agricultural services, ADM's largest segment in terms of revenues, jumped 59 percent to $159 million despite seasonally lower U.S. crop exports ahead of the fall harvest.
ADM said its previously announced buyback of 18 million shares was ahead of its year-end target, adding that it expects to repurchase another 10 million shares by the end of 2014.