April 5 (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Cargill Inc reported a 23.8 percent drop in its third-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by a $161 million charge related to the new U.S. tax legislation.
The privately held company said net income fell to $495 million in the quarter ended Feb. 28, from $650 million a year earlier. (bit.ly/2GxbNE2)
Excluding one-time items, Cargill reported net income of $559 million, from $715 million a year earlier.
Cargill and several of its agribusiness rivals have been hurt by a global glut of crops and low volatility in commodities markets, which have limited trading opportunities and squeezed margins for the multinational traders.
U.S. farmers harvested massive crops last autumn and their Brazilian counterparts are expecting record or near-record crops in Brazil this season.
Cargill and rivals Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Co, known as the ABCD companies that dominate global grain trading, have been investing in higher-margin businesses to shield themselves from tough conditions in their core grain businesses.
Cargill’s investments have included ventures in protein production, food ingredients and aquaculture.
The company’s revenue rose 2 percent to $27.85 billion in the third quarter. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago and Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)