Well those types of generalizations are not always correct. In the case of a small firm with limited means diversification with integration problems or that need a learning curve could spell disaster. Now for larger cash rich firms that can afford to nurse along a new buisness it can be very successful especially with economy of scale such as in place administration and management. A business can blunder in many ways. Now for big oil that decides to sink billions into Venezuela oil fields or even Lybia and the rules change well thats another risk. One industry countries like some of the opec nations have to know one day their oil runs out so would aramco doing some diversification be a mistake? Having said all that i sometimes wish adm did not make such a venture into ethanol, but grew by acquistion of other food companies. again i defer to the adm market and commoditiy intelligence. adm must have some good ideas about the future of ethanol and there has got to be good reason Bp and vlo want ethanol production. I had the bright idea that adm should have gotten into fertillizer and still think that, but had they done that when i got that idea they would have gotten in at a peak just in time for the crash in fertizer price, and probably suffer like bg or pot, or agu. suffice it to say i feel comfortable to throw my lot in with adm to a great extend and like the track record.