Bunge shares fall after announcement of 4Q loss

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Shares of Bunge Ltd. tumbled Thursday after the agribusiness and food company said it posted a loss for the fourth-quarter and that its CEO plans to retire.

Bunge reported a loss available to common shareholders of $610 million, or $4.17 per share, after payment of preference share dividends compared with net income of $245 million, or $1.65 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding $683 million in after-tax one-time charges, the company said it posted an adjusted profit from continuing operations of 57 cents per share for the recent quarter.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $17.04 billion from $15.69 billion.

Analysts, on average, expected revenue of $18.69 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Despite the weak quarterly results, Bunge said its outlook for 2013 is optimistic, noting that the world needs to rebuild grain and oilseed stocks to meet growing demand. In addition, record-level crops in South America are expected to boost demand for the company's services there.

For the full year 2012, Bunge earned $28 million, or 19 cents per share, down from $908 million, or $6.07 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $61 billion from $56.1 billion.

Bunge also said Thursday that CEO Alberto Weisser will retire effective June 1. Its board named Soren Schroder, the current CEO of Bunge North America, to succeed him.

Schroder is expected to become a director before June 1 and Weisser will remain with the company as its executive chairman until Dec. 31, Bunge said.

Weisser joined Bunge in 1993 as chief financial officer. He became CEO in January 1999 and was named chairman later that year.

Shares of White Plains, N.Y.-based Bunge fell $4.66, or 6 percent, to $74.72 in morning trading.

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