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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cargill reports lower profits

Cargill’s annual profit nearly halved in its latest fiscal year amid rising costs, a declining meat business and lower agricultural prices from a fading commodities boom.

The largest privately held U.S. company reported net income of $3.81 billion for the year ended May 31, down from a record $6.69 billion in the prior period, according to documents seen by Bloomberg Opinion columnist Javier Blas.

Profit was affected by a decline in Cargill’s beef business, hurt by the tightest U.S. cattle supplies since 2014, and a chicken glut that eroded earnings.

Even with the 43% profit drop, it was still the fourth-best year for the crop trader.

Cargill’s annual revenue rose 7.1% to a record $176.7 billion, the documents show.

Yet, a 61% jump in interest expenses along with higher restructuring costs, depreciation and other expenses eroded earnings.

The higher costs came just as pandemic restrictions were easing and crop prices stabilized following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

With ample supplies weighing on prices for commodities such as corn, soybeans and wheat, crop traders including Bunge and Archer-Daniels-Midland are expected to post annual profits that fall short of record levels seen over the past two years.

Google turns to Bard chatbot

Google has unveiled its next move in the race to dominate generative artificial intelligence: putting the technology directly into many of its most popular products.

The Alphabet division announced on Tuesday that it would equip services like Gmail, Maps, Docs and YouTube with its Bard chatbot.

First released in February, Google’s Bard has lagged behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google’s executives, facing scrutiny from regulators around the globe, have said they will not rush to release AI services.

Google said in a blog post on Tuesday that the new features will let people look up flight information, map routes and watch relevant videos – all from one ongoing chat with Bard.

From wire reports