Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) engages in the procurement, transportation, storing, processing and merchandising of agricultural commodities and products. With some 30,000 employees and 265 processing plants in 75 countries ADM operates in three segments: oilseeds processing, corn processing and agricultural services. ADM is also a major producer of ethanol and biodiesel. Officers and directors own 2.1%, or close to 14 million of the 668 million outstanding shares. I find this fact comforting as management is less apt to take uncalled for risks with the company's future prospects.
For 2011, ADM earned $3.17/share (fiscal year ends June 30). This year analysts are expecting earnings to be in the area of $3.36/share. However, annual revenue came in at $80.67 billion for 2011, up some 30% from 2010's $61.7 billion, while for 2012 $84.6 billion is expected. The 52-week low of $23.69 was reached on October 4, 2011, while the 52-week high of $38.02 was hit back on February 22, 2011.
This is one of Dave Fish's Dividend Champions, having increased payouts annually since 1995 or 36 consecutive years. The last increase came with the December dividend, it was upped some 9% to 17.5cents /Quarter (70cents/ year) from the previous 16cents/Quarter, giving ADM's yield a respectable 2.4%.
Currently trading around $29, ADM is just $6 off its low. Also, the current book value is $28.89/share, which should provide some underpinning for share prices. Too, ADM is sitting on some $1.8 billion in cash assets. At these prices ADM offers longer-term investors with a three- to five-year investment range an attractive entry point. And for those who already own ADM, now would be an ideal time to add to your position.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.