Shares for Archer Daniels Midland Co. took their biggest leap in over eight years as the world’s biggest corn and oilseed processor announced a second-quarter profit increase of 20 percent.
ADM’s net income rose to $441.3 million, or 67 cents a share, in the last three months of 2006, compared to $367.7 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Sales were up 18 percent to $11 billion, mainly due to increased prices for ethanol and corn sweeteners.
ADM CEO Patricia Woertz says the country’s biggest ethanol producer plans to get even bigger, with plans to increase production by 50 percent by the end of next year. The company currently produces 1.1 million gallons a year – about 20 percent of total US production.
Woertz said in a conference call Thursday that she expects commercial use of cellulosic ethanol to happen before the end of the decade, with some commercialization maybe as early as just two years down the road.
A webcast of the conference call is available on-line.