Corn Products International, Inc., (NYSE: CPO – news) said today that when it releases its second quarter earnings on July 18, 2000, it expects the results will be about 5 percent below last year’s earnings per share of $0.58. Consequently, it is reducing its annual guidance to a range of $2.15 to $2.20 earnings per share from the guidance figure of $2.30 communicated in January 2000. In 1999, earnings per share were $2.06.
Konrad Schlatter, chairman and chief executive officer said, “After a relatively strong first quarter, sweetener volumes to the beverage industry in the United States and Canada have been soft due to months of wet weather conditions in most of that important region. We adjusted our production rates toward the end of the second quarter, accordingly. In addition, our business in the same region is feeling the adverse effects of record-low co-product prices and high-energy costs.”
Schlatter continued, “Our strong and important international business continues to perform well and close to our expectations, despite higher than anticipated fuel costs and a somewhat sluggish economy in the southern cone of South America. By speeding up the full integration of our newly acquired leading businesses in Korea and Argentina, which are together already contributing to earnings, we expect to counter some of the adverse factors enumerated and this may make it possible to reach the upper end of the earnings range indicated.” He added, “Over the past nine quarters we have consistently delivered targeted results. But, we live in a dynamic environment in which changing short-term business conditions affect short-term profit performance. What has not changed are the strong fundamentals of our business which we continue to improve strategically year-by-year and month-by- month through our focus on efficiency.”
Corn Products International, Inc., 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 is the No. 1 worldwide producer of dextrose and a leading regional producer of starch, high fructose corn syrup and glucose. In 1999, the Company recorded sales of $1.7 billion with operations in 22 countries at 43 plants, including wholly owned businesses, affiliates and alliances. Headquartered in Bedford Park, Ill., it was founded in 1906 and became an independent public company on December 31, 1997. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CPO. Additional information can be found on the World Wide Web at www.cornproducts.com.
This press release contains or may contain certain forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s financial position, business and future prospects, in addition to other statements using words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend” and other similar expressions. These statements contain certain inherent risks and uncertainties. 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 conveyed in these statements, based on factors such as the following: fluctuations in worldwide commodities markets and the associated risks of hedging against such fluctuations; fluctuations in aggregate industry supply and market demand; general economic, business and market conditions in the various geographic regions and countries in which we manufacture and sell our products, including fluctuations in the value of local currencies and changes in regulatory controls regarding quotas, tariffs and biotechnology issues; and increased competitive and/or customer pressure in the corn refining industry. 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. 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 risk factors, see the Company’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q or 8-K.