Cargill earnings drop

Cargill earnings drop

Cargill Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $168 million, down from $230 million a year earlier.

The drop was attributed to a $190 million noncash charge that was the company’s share of a restructuring charge taken by The Mosaic Co. related to its phosphate fertilizer business. Cargill is Mosaic’s majority shareholder.

Excluding the charge, the Minnetonka-based international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services earned $358 million in the quarter ended May 31.

For the 2006 fiscal year, Cargill earned $1.54 billion, including the Mosaic charge, down 27 percent from $2.1 billion earned in fiscal 2005. The earlier year included a $578 million noncash gain related to the formation of Mosaic in the second quarter.

Revenues for 2006 rose 6 percent to $75.2 billion, the company said.

The privately held company does not release results by division.

Cargill, the second-largest private U.S. company behind Koch Industries, is a diversified company that offers feed for farmers, ingredients for food companies, financial and risk management services and other products. Cargill has 149,000 employees in 63 countries.

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