ADM reported net earnings of $689 million and adjusted net earnings of $783 million in the first quarter of 2021 among other financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.
“ADM delivered an outstanding first quarter, building on our great 2020 performance. As expected, we achieved strong earnings spanning all three of our businesses, and a sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year adjusted operating profit growth,” said Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano.
Adjusted segment operating profit was up 86% year-over-year as the outlook for calendar year 2021 substantially improved.
"Our outlook today is even more optimistic than what we shared at the beginning of the year," Luciano said. "We expect significant year-over-year growth in earnings across all three of our businesses in 2021 and continued sustainable growth in the years to come.”
On May 5, ADM's board of directors declared a cash dividend of 37 cents per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable on June 9, 2021, to shareholders of record on May 19, 2021.
This is ADM’s 358th consecutive quarterly payment, a record of 89 years of uninterrupted dividends. As of March 31, 2021, there were 558,507,476 shares of ADM common stock outstanding.
- Ag Services & Oilseeds achieved a record Q1, with operating profits 84% higher year over year.
- Ag Services results were significantly higher versus the first quarter of 2020.
- Crushing delivered its best quarter ever, while Refined Products and Other results were higher year over year. Overall volumes were down due to pandemic impacts, but margins were stronger in both North America and EMEAI refined oils. Global biodiesel results were lower year over year.
- Equity earnings from Wilmar were lower versus the prior-year period.
- Carbohydrate Solutions results were significantly higher than the prior-year period.
- Starches and Sweeteners, including ethanol production from our wet mills, achieved significantly higher results.
- Corn oil results were significantly higher than the previous year. In general, though demand for sweeteners and flour by the foodservice sector remained below the prior year, there were signs of acceleration in March.
- Vantage Corn Processors results were substantially higher, driven by improved margins on the distribution of fuel ethanol and strong performance in USP-grade industrial alcohol.
- Animal Nutrition results were lower versus the first quarter of 2020, driven primarily by lower demand and higher input costs as a result of pandemic effects, primarily in South America.
Other items of note
Segment operating profit of $1.1 billion for the quarter includes charges related to asset impairment, restructuring, and legal settlements of $94 million ($0.12 per share).
In Corporate results, interest expense decreased from the prior year on lower interest rates and the favorable liability management actions taken in the prior year. Unallocated corporate costs were slightly higher year over year due primarily to the continued investments in IT and business transformation, and transfers of costs from business segments into the centralized centers of expertise in supply chain and operations. Other charges decreased due primarily to the absence of railroad maintenance expenses in the prior-year quarter. Corporate results also included restructuring charges of $5 million ($0.01 per share) and a charge related to the mark-to-market adjustment on the Wilmar exchangeable bond of $20 million ($0.04 per share).
The effective tax rate for the quarter was approximately 16% compared to a benefit of approximately 4% in the prior year.