Business Strategy and Outlook| Seth Goldstein, CFA |
Archer-Daniels Midland buys, processes, and sells agricultural commodities. The firm purchases crops from farmers and then transports, stores, and/or processes the crops before selling them to food, feed, and energy buyers. The commodity products ADM moves around the world are readily available from competitors, and the company has little pricing power over the products it buys and sells, making for slim margins. In addition, the capital intensity of its operations makes it difficult, but not impossible, for ADM to generate economic profits.