May 4, 2011
The first-quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of Corn Products International, Inc. grew 246% to US$1.97 compared with US$0.57 last year, the company reported on May 2.
Adjusted earnings per share rose 103% to US$1.28 to US$0.63 for the quarter.
The first quarter of 2011 included a US$0.75 per share gain as a result of a payment from the government of Mexico pursuant to a settlement in the company's favor regarding a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dispute and US$0.06 per share of acquisition integration charges. The first quarter of 2010 included US$0.04 per share of restructuring charges related to the Chilean earthquake and US$0.02 per share of acquisition costs.
"Corn Products delivered a very strong first quarter as we benefited from good performance across the entire business including the recently acquired National Starch," said Ilene Gordon, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "These results reflect the strength of our business model which takes a regional approach with a global perspective combined with a prudent commodity risk management philosophy to deliver long-term performance. Looking ahead, we continue to expect another year of earnings growth. We also plan to continue to invest in our business for future growth through capital expansions in key markets like Brazil, cost savings programmes, and new product development leveraging our acquired R&D capability."
First quarter net sales rose 56% from US$937 million to US$1.46 billion. The company attributed the increase to higher volume of US$351 million which was largely a result of the incremental US$348 million of sales associated with the National Starch business. Higher selling prices contributed US$149 million and US$22 million was a result of favorable foreign exchange.
Gross profit increased by 109% in the first quarter from US$143 million to US$298 million, expanding the gross profit margin from 15.2% in the year ago period to 20.4% this year. The improvement was driven by the addition of the National Starch business and the growth in legacy Corn Products operations.
First quarter operating income was up 217% from US$72 million to US$227 million. The change was driven by the US$58 million related to the NAFTA settlement, and the remaining change was almost evenly split between incremental operating income from the National Starch business and organic growth.
Adjusted operating income rose 127% from US$78 million to US$176 million in the first quarter 2011. The first quarter 2011 included US$58 million related to the NAFTA settlement and US$7 million of integration costs. The first quarter 2010 included US$3 million of acquisition costs and US$3 million of restructuring related to the Chilean earthquake.
The company also realised US$6 million of integration synergies generated by lower pension costs and procurement savings in the first quarter 2011.