Archer Daniels 1Q Profit More than Doubles

NEW YORK – Archer Daniels Midland Co. said Tuesday its fiscal first-quarter earnings more than doubled, beating Wall Street estimates as the company benefited from an accounting change and higher selling prices.

The Decatur-Ill.-based food processor and ethanol producer said its profit rose to $1.05 billion, or $1.63 per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That's up from $441 million, or 68 cents per share, last year.

The result beat the 69 cents per share expected by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Sales rose 65 percent to $21.16 billion from $12.83 billion a year ago, easily surpassing Wall Street's estimate of $15.98 billion. The gain came mostly from higher average selling prices, which ADM said arose from increases in underlying commodity costs.

Higher corn prices and energy costs sent ADM's corn processing unit's operating profit lower by more than half. That was more than offset by the oilseeds processing unit, where higher raw material costs boosted profit margins.

ADM also booked income of $453 million after changing the way it accounts for inventory. That posting had cost it $83 million a year ago.