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Source: Cargill news release

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Cargill today reported net earnings of $424 million in the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter ended May 31, down 12 percent from $483 million in the year-ago period. Fourth-quarter revenues rose 2 percent to $36.2 billion.

For the full fiscal year Cargill earned $1.87 billion, a 19 percent decrease from $2.31 billion in the prior year. Revenues declined 1 percent to $134.9 billion. Cash flow from operations totaled $3.77 billion, down 12 percent from $4.27 billion in fiscal 2013.

"Cargill plays an important role in helping to feed a growing world, and that inspires us to continuously improve performance," said David MacLennan, Cargill's president and chief executive officer.

"Though we look back on a year in which overall earnings fell short of expectations, we realized stronger operating results in several businesses including a turnaround in our global beef operations. We also made good progress on moves designed to sharpen efficiency and support profitable growth in fiscal 2015 and beyond."

Among Cargill's four segments, earnings rose significantly in Animal Nutrition & Protein in the fourth quarter and full year. Results in animal nutrition were up for the full year, reflecting the positive impact of recent years' acquisitions and a product and service mix that met the diverse needs of customers.

Fourth-quarter earnings were below the year-ago level due to a loss resulting from adjustments to the balance sheet to account for Venezuela's effective currency exchange rates. Performance in animal protein was led by the beef business, which was boosted by increased operating efficiency, good cattle feeding results in North America and brisk exports of Australian beef.

U.S. pork operations rose on improved live production and processing efficiency, and steady demand. Poultry operations in Central America, Europe and Thailand posted higher earnings in both periods on a combined basis.

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