Corn Products International (NYSE:CPO) is one of the world’s largest corn refiners and a major supplier of high-quality food ingredients and industrial products derived from wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials. The company earned $3.67 billion in revenue and $41 million in net income in 2009.
Our products are derived primarily from the processing of corn and other starch-based materials, such as tapioca. Corn refining is a capital-intensive, two-step process that involves the wet milling and processing of corn. During the front-end process, corn is steeped in a water-based solution and separated into starch and co-products such as animal feed and corn oil. The starch is then either dried for sale or further processed to make sweeteners and other ingredients that serve the particular needs of various industries.
The company supplies a broad range of customers in many diverse industries around the world, including the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, paper products, corrugated, laminated paper, textile and brewing industries, as well as the global animal feed and corn oil markets.
Corn Products operates as one segment, Corn Processing, and is managed on a regional basis. The company classifies its products in three categories:
The price of corn can change due to supply factors such as farmer decisions, climate and government policies as well as demand factors such as livestock feeding, world grain shortage and world grain surplus. When the price of corn rises, Corn Products must spend more money on the corn they use to make their products. This increases the company's cost of goods sold. On the other hand, when the price of corn falls, Corn Products spends less money on corn and their cost of goods sold decreases. Corn Products purchases corn on the Chicago Board of Trade exchange.
Because Corn Products earns 70% of its total revenues abroad, the company is exposed to exchange rate fluctuations. Corn Products' international revenue benefits when the U.S. dollar depreciates relative to foreign currencies. As the value of the dollar falls, each euro or pound it earns abroad converts to a larger number of dollars, boosting Corn Products' USD-reported revenue. On the other hand, sharp appreciations of the USD reduce the value of international sales.
When the demand for food and beverage products that use corn based sweeteners increases, so does the demand for Corn Products' sweeteners. This results in increased sales volume growth for the company. When the demand for food and beverage products that use corn based sweeteners decreases, so does Corn Products' sales volume growth.