News Column

Ethanol helps profits soar for The Andersons

August 8, 2014

By Jon Chavez, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio



Aug. 08--Record ethanol production, coupled with solid performances by its other divisions, caused quarterly income at The Andersons Inc. to increase by 50 percent, the company reported Thursday.

The Maumee agribusiness said that its second quarter profits were $44.4 million, or $1.56 a share, compared with $29.5 million, or $1.05 per share, for the same period a year ago. The Andersons easily beat Zacks consensus estimate of $1.15 per share by a wide margin.

Although profits rose significantly, the company said its quarterly revenues were down 19 percent to $1.3 billion from $1.6 billion a year ago.

"We're pleased with our first half performance for 2013, which is a record," said Mike Anderson, company chief executive officer. "Both our ethanol and plant nutrient groups had strong results this quarter. In fact, our ethanol group had the best quarter in its history."

The ethanol group had both record ethanol production and operating income -- $33.9 million, compared with $10.6 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Mr. Anderson said all four of The Andersons' ethanol plants had excellent profit margins during the quarter, supported primarily by growing export demand, lower corn prices, and strong plant operating performances.

The division had record sales of E-85 fuel and an increase in sales of two ethanol byproducts -- distillers dried grains and corn oil.

The company's plant nutrient group exceeded prior six-month earnings with its volume up 6 percent in the first half of 2014.

The grain group had operating income of $10.3 million, up from $2.1 million from last year, and the company said ideal weather offers the potential for record corn and soybean crops.

Overall, operating income was up in four of The Andersons' six divisions, with the retail division -- which of late has struggled to overcome mostly flat revenues -- showing strength with a 6 percent gain in operating income in the quarter.

The Andersons shares rose $4.27 to close at $60.13 Thursday on the Nasdaq market.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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(c)2014 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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Source: Blade (Toledo, OH)


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