UPDATE 1-Cargill Q4 profit falls on exchange rate loss; revenue up
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By Karl Plume
Aug 7 (Reuters) - Cargill Inc, a top global commodities trader, said on Thursday its quarterly earnings fell as drought limited farm services opportunities in the United States and due to a loss stemming from the drop in the value of Venezuela's currency.
Minneapolis-based Cargill was also stung by elevated rail shipping costs and railcar shortages in the northern U.S. Plains states, which have similarly impacted rival agribusinesses Archer Daniels Midland Co and Bunge Ltd.
Privately-held Cargill reported net earnings of $424 million for the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31. That was down 12 percent from $483 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
Revenue rose 2 percent to $36.2 billion in the quarter, compared with $35.4 billion a year earlier.
The company's full-year fiscal 2014 earnings declined 19 percent to $1.87 billion while revenues slipped 1 percent to $134.9 billion.
Cargill was the latest U.S. corporation to be hurt by the drop in value of Venezuela's bolivar, joining the likes of Colgate-Palmolive, Fiat Chrysler, Goodyear Tire & Rubber and numerous U.S. airlines. Critics have called the country's revamped exchange rate system a devaluation in disguise.
It also said that earnings in its food ingredients and applications business declined after four straight years of record profits due to weaker economic conditions in some markets and the negative Venezuelan currency impact. Continued...