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|Corn Products International Reports 2009 Fourth-Quarter Results of $0.74 Per Share, up 21% from $0.61 a Year Ago|
"We are pleased with the fourth-quarter results," said Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "On a total company basis, volumes, margins, and foreign currencies were favorable versus last year and are reflected in the 55 percent improvement in operating income and the 21 percent improvement in EPS. All three regions performed better than last year on an operating income basis."
The 13 cents improvement in earnings per diluted common share was driven by solid performance from operations, which contributed changes of approximately 39 cents. This was offset by non-operational changes of a negative 26 cents, attributable to a higher effective tax rate.
The 2009 fourth-quarter effective tax rate was 38.2%.
Net sales of $959 million in the fourth-quarter of 2009 increased 7 percent versus $900 million in the prior-year period. The three primary contributors to changes in net sales in the fourth-quarter were a positive $60 million from stronger foreign currencies; a positive $48 million from improved volumes; and a negative $49 million from lower price/mix, approximately half of which was related to lower co-product selling prices.
Fourth-quarter 2009 gross profit of $163 million improved 15 percent versus $141 million a year ago. The gross margin of 17.0 percent compared favorably to 15.7 percent last year. The improvement in gross profit is mainly attributable to higher volumes and stronger foreign currencies, not withstanding increases in total company net corn and energy costs per ton versus a year ago.
Operating expenses in the fourth-quarter were $66 million, or 6.9 percent of net sales, versus $67 million, or 7.4 percent of net sales, last year. Other income in the fourth-quarter of 2009 was $2 million compared to an expense of $11 million last year largely related to expenses in connection with the terminated merger with Bunge. Operating income for the fourth-quarter of 2009 was $99 million, compared to $64 million last year.
Net financing costs in the fourth-quarter of 2009 were $6 million versus $5 million last year, as lower net interest expense was offset by an unfavorable foreign currency swing of $7 million.
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding in the fourth-quarter of 2009 were up slightly to 75.8 million from 75.6 million in the same quarter last year.
Regional Business Segment Performance
Regional results for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 were as follows:
Net sales of $554 million decreased 2 percent from $563 million in 2008. The decline was due to negative price/mix of $25 million, partially offset by higher volumes of $4 million, and stronger Canadian dollar of $12 million. The decline in price/mix was largely due to co-products, which declined by $22 million compared to the same quarter last year. Operating income of $62 million increased 31 percent from $48 million last year, primarily due to lower manufacturing costs. Gross corn costs per ton decreased 4 percent versus last year, while net corn costs per ton increased 8 percent.
Net sales of $298 million increased 21 percent compared with $246 million a year ago, primarily due to the impact of favorable foreign currency translation of $42 million and improved volumes of $29 million, partially offset by unfavorable price/mix of $19 million. Gross corn costs per ton increased 11 percent versus last year, while net corn costs per ton increased 17 percent. Operating income increased 22 percent to $46 million compared with $38 million in the prior year.
Net sales of $106 million increased 16 percent versus $91 million last year, primarily due to the higher volumes of $15 million and favorable foreign currency translation of $5 million, partially offset by lower price/mix of $5 million. Gross corn costs per ton declined 2 percent versus last year while net corn cost per ton decreased 11 percent. Operating income of $6 million was up from $3 million last year.
2009 Full-Year Results
"As the fourth-quarter confirms, 2009 was a year of two halves," said Ilene Gordon. "The first half was marked by soft volumes, higher net corn costs, unfavorable foreign currencies, and the write-off of the goodwill in our Korean business. The second half showed marked improvement as we worked through the higher corn costs, foreign currencies turned in our favor, and volumes began to recover.
"Throughout the year we remained focused on execution, managing costs and preserving financial flexibility. Our team's efforts are clearly visible in the quarter by quarter earnings improvement and in our balance sheet. During 2009 we generated $586 million in cash flow from operations and applied $332 million to debt repayment. At the same time we maintained our dividend and stayed committed to our future growth by investing $141 million in capital back into the business."
The Company reported 2009 full-year earnings per diluted common share of $0.54, down from $3.52 per diluted common share reported for 2008. The 2009 results include the after tax impact of impairment and restructuring charges of $1.47 per diluted common share. Full-year 2008 results included a 14 cent negative impact from costs related to the terminated merger with Bunge.
Annual net sales of $3.67 billion in 2009 declined 7 percent from $3.94 billion in 2008. The decline in sales resulted from unfavorable foreign currency translation of $183 million; lower volumes of $79 million; and lower price/mix of $9 million. The negative impact on price/mix of lower co-product prices was $134 million.
Operating expenses as a percentage of net sales in 2009 were 6.7 percent versus 7.0 percent in 2008. Operating income of $153 million in 2009 was down 65 percent compared with $434 million a year earlier. 2009 operating income included the negative impact of $125 million in impairment and restructuring charges. The operating margin decreased to 4.2 percent in 2009 versus 11 percent in 2008.
Net financing costs in 2009 increased to $38 million from $29 million in 2008. The increase was attributable to foreign exchange losses in 2009, versus foreign exchange gains in 2008, as net interest expense declined 16 percent. The effective 2009 tax rate of 59.5 percent, compared to 32.0 percent in 2008, includes the impact of the impairment and restructuring charges recorded in the second quarter of 2009.
Regional Business Segment Performance
Regional results for the year ended December 31, 2009 were as follows:
Net sales of $2.27 billion decreased 4 percent versus $2.37 billion in 2008 due to lower volumes of $94 million and unfavorable currency translation of $27 million, partially offset by improved price/mix of $20 million. The price/mix improved despite a negative $114 million impact from lower co-product values. Operating income of $177 million decreased 44 percent from $313 million last year reflecting the reduction in co-product sales values, higher corn costs, lower volumes, and a weaker Canadian dollar.
Net sales of $1.01 billion decreased 10 percent versus $1.12 billion in 2008 largely due to unfavorable foreign currency translation of $106 million. Better volumes added $30 million, while the impact of lower price/mix, principally co-products, was a negative $32 million. Operating income of $138 million decreased 9 percent from $151 million last year reflecting the impact of unfavorable currency translation.
Net sales of $392 million decreased 14 percent versus $454 million in 2008 due to unfavorable currency translation of $51 million and lower volumes of $15 million. Improved price/mix added $4 million. Operating income of $17 million decreased 56 percent from $38 million last year.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
At year-end 2009, total debt and cash and cash equivalents were $544 million and $175 million, respectively, versus $866 million and $107 million at the end of 2008. Total debt to capitalization of 22.8 percent at year-end 2009 compared with 36.1 percent a year earlier.
Cash provided from operations in 2009 was $586 million compared with cash used for operations of $79 million in 2008. Net income was $47 million; non-cash impairment and restructuring charges was $124 million; depreciation and amortization was $130 million; and the working capital reduction was $257 million, including a reduction in margin accounts of $242 million related to corn futures contracts associated with firm-price business. Net capital expenditures were $141 million in 2009.
Conference Call and Webcast
Corn Products International will conduct a conference call today at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time (7:30 a.m. Central Time) to be hosted by Ilene Gordon, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Cheryl Beebe, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
The call will be broadcast in a real-time webcast. The broadcast will consist of the call and a visual presentation accessible through the Corn Products International web site at www.cornproducts.com. The "listen-and-view-only" presentation will be available to download approximately 60 minutes prior to the start of the call. A replay of the webcast will be available at www.cornproducts.com.
Individuals without Internet access may listen to the live conference call by dialing 719-325-2204. A replay of the audio call will be available through Friday, February 12 by calling 719-457-0820 and using passcode 4656128.
About the Company
Corn Products International is one of the world's largest corn refiners and a major supplier of high-quality food ingredients and industrial products derived from the wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials. The Company, headquartered in Westchester, Ill., is a leading worldwide producer of dextrose and a major regional producer of starch, high fructose corn syrup and glucose. In 2009, Corn Products International reported net sales and diluted earnings per common share of $3.67 billion and $0.54, respectively, with operations in 15 countries at 33 plants, including wholly owned businesses, affiliates and alliances. For more information, visit www.cornproducts.com.
This news release contains or may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.The Company intends these forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for such statements.These statements include, among other things, any predictions regarding the Company's prospects or future financial condition, earnings, revenues, expenses or other financial items, any statements concerning the Company's prospects or future operations, including management's plans or strategies and objectives therefor and any assumptions, expectations or beliefs underlying the foregoing.These statements can sometimes be identified by the use of forward looking words such as "may," "will," "should," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "project," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "continue," "pro forma," "forecast" or other similar expressions or the negative thereof.All statements other than statements of historical facts in this release or referred to in this release are "forward-looking statements."These statements are based on current expectations, but are subject to certain inherent risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are beyond our control.Although we believe our expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, stockholders are cautioned that no assurance can be given that our expectations will prove correct.Actual results and developments may differ materially from the expectations expressed in or implied by these statements, based on various factors, including the effects of the global economic recession and its impact on our sales volumes and pricing of our products, our ability to collect our receivables from customers and our ability to raise funds at reasonable rates; fluctuations in worldwide markets for corn and other commodities, and the associated risks of hedging against such fluctuations; fluctuations in the markets and prices for our co-products, particularly corn oil;fluctuations in aggregate industry supply and market demand; the behavior of financial markets, including foreign currency fluctuations and fluctuations in interest and exchange rates; continued volatility and turmoil in the capital markets; the commercial and consumer credit environment; general political, economic, business, market and weather conditions in the various geographic regions and countries in which we manufacture and/or sell our products; future financial performance of major industries which we serve, including, without limitation, the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, paper, corrugated, textile and brewing industries; energy costs and availability, freight and shipping costs, and changes in regulatory controls regarding quotas, tariffs, duties, taxes and income tax rates; operating difficulties; boiler reliability; our ability to effectively integrate acquired businesses; labor disputes; genetic and biotechnology issues; changing consumption preferences and trends; increased competitive and/or customer pressure in the corn-refining industry; and the outbreak or continuation of serious communicable disease or hostilities including acts of terrorism.Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of the statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.If we do update or correct one or more of these statements, investors and others should not conclude that we will make additional updates or corrections.For a further description of these and other risks, see "Risk Factors" included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q or 8-K.
SOURCE: Corn Products International, Inc.
Corn Products International, Inc.