Soros Fund Management LLC and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have cut by half their shareholdings in agricultural products and ethanol supplier Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) between the third and fourth quarters of 2018.

A recent filing shows George Soros held 325,000 shares in ADM the at the end of 2018, down from 720,000 three months earlier. CPP Investment Board, on the other hand, owned 1.53 million at end-December versus 2.96 million at end-September.

Early in February ADM reported earnings per share of USD 0.55 for 2018, down from USD 1.39 a year earlier. The result included a charge of USD 0.35 per share related to asset impairment, restructuring and settlement charges.

Last year, one of the divisions that experienced a significant fall in profit was Bioproducts, which includes the ethanol business. Adjusted segment operating profit fell to USD 51 million in 2018 from USD 148 million in 2017. In the fourth quarter the Bioproducts profit was just USD 2 million as ethanol margins and volumes fell due to a continued weak industry pricing and margin environment. The pressure on margins in the North American ethanol industry is expected to continue in the first quarter of 2019, ADM said on reporting its annual results.


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