Grain trader ADM reports 44% drop in quarterly profit on higher costs

(Reuters) - U.S. grains merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co ADM.N reported a 44.7% drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by higher costs and insurance underwriting losses related to its Ag Services & Oilseeds business.

ADM said selling, general, and administrative expenses rose to $636 million from $578 million last year, primarily due to variable performance-related compensation expense accruals, which were low in the prior year.

Results in its non-core business also came in lower, hit by lower ADM investor services earnings and captive insurance underwriting losses, including a $17 million settlement impact for the high water claim with Ag Services & Oilseeds.

Net earnings attributable to ADM fell to $225 million, or 40 cents per share in the three months ended Sept. 30, from $407 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $15.13 billion from $16.73 billion.

Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr