ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported that its third-quarter profit soared to more to $421 million from just $3 million in the same period last year, with global demand for biofuels boosting the company's corn processing business.

The company, based in Decatur, Ill., said Tuesday that it earned 65 cents per share, compared with zero cents per share last year.

ADM reversed last year's loss in bioproducts thanks to lower corn costs and better margins on ethanol. Ethanol producers were hit hard during the recession as job losses and canceled vacations slashed demand for all fuel.

ADM shipped the first commercial product from its joint-venture Mirel bioplastics plant as well.

ADM said global demand for grains has finally shown signs of strengthening. Profit increased $44 million to $165 million at the company's agricultural services unit, which includes shipping.

Overall revenue at ADM rose 2 percent, to $15.1 billion, from $14.8 billion last year.

But agricultural services profit is still down $521 million for the nine months ended March 31, compared to last year.

ADM's results still came in below Wall Street expectations, with analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecasting a profit of 72 cents per share.

Other commodity processors have bounced back even more strongly.

Rival Cargill Inc. reported last month that it's profit tripled.

Company shares slipped 47 cents to $27.25 in premarket trading.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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