DECATUR, Ill. — Agribusiness company Archer Daniels Midland says its fiscal third-quarter profit tumbled 98 percent due to a steep drop in sales and one-time losses related to equity investments.

The Decatur-based company said today its profit fell to $8 million, or a penny per share, in the three months ended March 31. That’s down from $517 million, or 80 cents per share, a year ago.

ADM says the latest results included a loss of $229 million, or 36 cents per share, from equity investments. Excluding that, it says its adjusted earnings would have been 37 cents per share.

That’s below the consensus estimate by analysts of 49 cents a share.

ADM says sales fell 21 percent to $14.8 billion — well below the analysts’ estimate of $16.9 billion.

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