As goes the commodity market, so goes Archer Daniels Midland. Last year that was not a good thing: Sales dropped 16.6%, and profits declined 17.7%. The processor of goods like corn and wheat has been hurt by a strong dollar and a grain surplus, reducing the demand for the North American supply it processes and sells. Low oil prices and a glut of ethanol also cut into its manufacturing of the fuel additive. Management is trying to remake ADM accordingly, selling off its cocoa business and considering shedding stakes in operations like corn mills that make ethanol. Meanwhile, ADM acquired companies like Wild Flavors, Eatem Foods, and SCI to capitalize on consumers shifting their preferences toward natural goods. ADM also has made investments in organic, gluten-free ingredient company Harvest Innovation and sugar supplier Wilmar International to gain a bigger footprint in Asia.
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