Name-brand companies don't ordinarily report earnings on Fridays. As a general rule, your Intels, Ciscos, and Microsofts prefer to get their news out to the investing public on Mondays through Thursdays, before investors head home for the weekend. Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) is bucking the trend with its impending Friday earnings release; its unusual timing aside, the important question is just what kind of results it will announce.

Despite the awkward cocktail-party talk it might have to endure for its unusually timed release, ADM is doing the right thing from an increase-your-profile perspective. Despite its size, ADM currently gets precious little respect among professional investors. Only about a half-dozen analysts even bother to follow the company. Compare that to 27 or so analysts following the sexy up-and-comer Sirius Satellite (NASDAQ:SIRI), which is only half ADM's size by market cap and 1/256th ADM's size by sales.

But here at the Fool, we're watching ADM closely. When a company produces the kind of prodigious free cash flow that ADM put out last year, yet still flies beneath Wall Street's radar, it all but demands our notice. (Granted, ADM's market cap makes it too large to earn a spot in our official Motley Fool Hidden Gems portfolio, but still.)

Like I said, analysts aren't too hot on ADM. At last report, they were calling for the company to post a 20% earnings decline in tomorrow's report, down to $0.33 per share. But they've been wrong on ADM before. Over the past four quarters, ADM outperformed analyst estimates three times, underperforming only once.

With ADM's history of confounding the "experts," its below-industry-average ratio of P/E to growth -- 15% less than Corn Products' (NYSE:CPO) PEG and half that of ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) -- and its even better valuation on a free cash flow basis, ADM looks to this Fool like a seed worth planting in your portfolio.

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Fool contributor Rich Smithdoes not own shares in any company mentioned in this article.