Cargill has strong quarterby Bill Catlin, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Cargill posted sharply higher quarterly earnings, helped by strong growth from The Mosaic Co. Cargill spun off the fertilizer maker several years ago, but retains a 64 percent stake.
Gains in Mosaic's business, resulting from strong demand amid rising global food prices, were a key reason Cargill more than tripled income for the quarter compared to a year ago.
Cargill reported net income of $1.49 billion in the three months ending in November, compared with $489 million in the same period a year ago. Excluding the Mosaic stake, Cargill earned $832 million, almost double last year's $420 million.
Large North American grain harvests also helped push Cargill's grain handling-related revenue higher, and the company's origination and processing segment saw strong gains. Overall, four of the company's five business segments saw earnings rise.
Crop prices have been rallying recently on strong global demand and worries about tightening supplies. Corn, beans and wheat prices surged even more on Wednesday as the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued updated supply and demand data.
"Cargill generated strong results across the breadth of our businesses," said Cargill CEO Greg Page.