QUOTE AND NEWS
Reuters  Mar 26  Comment 
Britain's BG Group said it would explore for oil and gas off the coast of Myanmar later this year, in line with its plan to enter a new geological basin each year.     
The Australian  Mar 21  Comment 
BG Group is slashing a third of its  workforce at its Queensland Gas Co unit.
guardian.co.uk  Mar 19  Comment 
Oil and gas group says Simon Lowth compensated for losing out on share options at old firm AstraZeneca The new finance director of troubled BG was handed a "golden hello" of shares which could be worth £4.3m, it was disclosed . Simon Lowth took...
DailyFinance  Mar 10  Comment 
PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - March 10, 2014) - Brownstein Group (BG), the longest-running independent brand communication firm in Philadelphia, was awarded "Best in Show" at the 2014 Philadelphia ADDY Awards presented by the Philly Ad...
SeekingAlpha  Mar 8  Comment 
By Chris Bunge: Chemtura (CHMT) historically has operated as an industrial conglomerate. Chemtura's divisions had little operational overlap, and this complexity could early have led to a lower valuation within the marketplace. In response to...
Wall Street Journal  Mar 3  Comment 
The commodities companies said Monday that their Black Sea grain-trading operations haven't been affected so far by the escalating turmoil in Ukraine, though they are closely watching the situation.
StreetInsider.com  Mar 3  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Dividends/Bunge+Limited+%28BG%29+Declares+%240.30+Quarterly+Dividend%3B+1.5%25+Yield/9235336.html for the full story.
SeekingAlpha  Feb 27  Comment 
By Chris Bunge: On December 16, 2013 Alcobra announced its lead drug compound MG01C1 had TOVA and CAARS Scores equal to if not better than all existing players (this is how the industry measures efficacy in ADHD). Based upon their involuntary...
Market Intelligence Center  Feb 19  Comment 
Bunge Ltd (BG) is a good candidate for a covered call at the $77.50 level. The Apr. '14 call at that price should fetch a credit of about $2.70, which means the entire position has a net debit of about $75.61. This trade has 1.74% downside...




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Bunge (NYSE:BG) is an agribusiness and food company that is the largest producer of soybean oil and which has an immense stake in the South American fertilizer market. It also deals with commodities and works a great deal with Biofuels, especially Brazilian sugar-cane ethanol. In February of 2010, Bunge purchased five sugarcane mills in Brazil, making it the third largest sugar and ethanol producer in Brazil.[1]

Bunge faces several risks as a result of the nature of its operations. Government Agricultural Subsidies, Environmental Regulations, weather conditions, and Health trends all play a roll in determining the success of the company.

Bunge competes against Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM).

Company Overview

Business Financials

Bunge earned a total of $41.9 billion in total revenues for 2009, a decline from its 2008 revenues of $52.6 billion.[2] As a result, its net income declined dramatically as well, from $1.1 billion in 2008 to just $361 million in 2009.[2] This decline was primarily a result of declines in demand and prices for key goods that Bunge supplies. Furthermore, tight credit conditions in Brazil limited the amount of fertilizers farmers could purchase, thereby driving down demand and prices for fertilizers, which are a commodity.[3]

Business Segments

Bunge conducts its operations in three divisions: agribusiness, fertilizer and food and ingredients. These divisions include four reportable business segments: agribusiness, fertilizer, edible oil products and milling products.

Agribusiness (72.8% of 2009 Sales)

The agribusiness division is an integrated business principally involved in the purchase, storage, transport, processing and sale of agricultural commodities and commodity products. These operations and assets are primarily located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. In 2009, this segment earned $30.5 billion in total sales.[4]

Fertilizer (8.8% of 2009 Sales)

The fertilizer division is involved in every step of the business, from mining phosphate-based raw materials to the final sale of retail fertilizer products. These operations are mostly located in South America. In 2009, this segment earned a total of $3.7 billion in total sales.[4]

Food and Ingredients (18.4% of 2009 Sales)

The food and ingredients division consists of two reportable business segments: edible oil products and milling products. These segments include businesses that produce and sell edible oils, shortenings, margarines, mayonnaise and milled products such as wheat flours and corn-based products. The operations and assets of our milling products segment are located in Brazil and the United States, and the operations and assets of our edible oil products segment are primarily located in North America, Europe, Brazil, China and India. In 2009, this segment earned a total of $7.7 billion.[4]

Trends and Forces

Expansion

Bunge seeks to generate fiscal value in conjunction with other companies, through both acquisitions and joint ventures. Problems with these companies could negatively affect the business and could divert the management’s attention from other matters. Likewise, success with these undertakings could be a boon to the company as it tries to compete with giants such as Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.

Agriculture Subject to Weather Conditions

Large-scale agribusiness is vulnerable Temperature and Precipitation Fluctuations, and Agricultural Diseases. Because of the fluctuations in production quantities, it is very difficult to gauge capacity when building a new processing plant. Mistakes in calculations could lead to a surplus or a scarcity of commodity, both of which would negatively effect profitability until the imbalance has been corrected. These uncertainties make an investment in agribusiness inherently high-risk.

With Such a Global Presence in Such a Politicized Industry, Bunge is at the Mercy of Government Policies

As an agricultural major with operations in over 80 countries, Bunge is at the mercy of international politics. Government Agricultural Subsidies and trade laws plague the agricultural industry, leaving Bunge subject to increased government interference, higher tariffs, tax regulation, political instability and trade barriers. Bunge is subject to a wide array of environmental laws. Bunge also faces laws effecting the labeling, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.

Consumer Trends Impact the Food Industry

Health concerns ranging from trans-fats to organic foods to Genetically Modified Foods constantly change the demand patterns of consumers. Genetically Modified Foods are currently a hot topic, especially in the European Union and Brazil where consumers oppose their usage. The delivery of GMF products to customers requesting GMF-free products could tarnish Bunge’s reputation and result in a loss of customers. Consumption of organic foods has been on the rise of late. Outbreaks of diseases such as Avian Flu and Mad Cow Disease in the poultry and livestock market lead to great losses for Bunge.

Competition

While Bunge competes with many different companies across each of its operating segments, it does not have a competitor with which it competes across all of its segments. Bunge’s primary competitor in the public sector is Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM), a slightly bigger and much more profitable business. In the private sector, both of these companies are dwarfed by Cargill the world’s second largest privately held business. As the graphs show, Cargill has a clear advantage in terms of revenue over both ADM and Bunge, but in the past two years, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) has made a huge leap in net earnings while Bunge has failed to achieve the same.

Corn

Recently U.S. corn production has skyrocketed, eclipsing all estimates. Most of this increase has been due to Ethanol demand. This increased corn production has lowered Corn Prices and led to a decrease in the plantings of other crops such as soybeans and wheat. Unlike small agribusiness companies, larger companies such as Bunge and Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) have invested overseas in Brazilian agriculture. This Brazilian presence has allowed them to produce the needed soybeans and import them into the US thereby giving them an advantage over companies who rely on the U.S. corn belt.

Ethanol

China has stated that it will not use food products to produce ethanol and some U.S. companies have taken the lead in researching cellulosic ethanol as an alternative to corn-produced ethanol. These companies would gain an advantage over ADM if they succeed.



References

  1. BG 10-K 2009 Item 1 Pg. 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 BG 10-K 2009 Item 6 Pg. 32
  3. BG 10-K 2009 Item 7 Pg. 38
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 BG 10-K 2009 Item 7 Pg. 39
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