Grain, ethanol lead to record earnings for The Andersons

by World Grain Staff
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MAUMEE, OHIO, U.S. — The Andersons, Inc. announced on Aug. 3 record earnings of $62.5 million or $3.34 per diluted share for the first six months of 2011. In the first half of 2010, the company reported earnings of $37.4 million or $2.02 per diluted share.

The revenue for the first six months of 2011 and 2010 were $2.3 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively. It is important to remember that revenues in commodity-based businesses do not serve as good predictors of income or economic performance, the Andersons said.

For the second-quarter, the Andersons reported net income of $45.2 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.3 billion. In the same three month period of 2010, the company reported results of $25.2 million, or $1.36 per diluted share, on revenues of $811 million.

The Grain Division led the company's second quarter income with its record results. The Plant Nutrient Group also had highly favorable results. Higher than usual space income in the grain markets, particularly wheat, along with favorable fundamentals in other areas of the agricultural sector impacted the second quarter results.

The Grain & Ethanol Group reported record second quarter operating income of $45.3 million, which was more than double its year earlier result of $19.6 million. The group had record operating income through June of $64 million this year, in comparison to first half 2010 operating income of $40.3 million.

The Grain Division reported record operating income of $36.5 million in the second quarter of 2011 and $13.4 million for the same period last year. The division benefited from continued strong space income as a result of significant basis gains that were realized earlier in the year than is typical, and good second quarter earnings from its investment in Lansing Trade Group. Revenues for the Grain Division were $797 million and $361 million for the second quarter of 2011 and 2010, respectively. Revenues increased significantly due primarily to higher grain prices. The Grain Division's operating income for the first six months of the year was $51.6 million on revenues of $1.4 billion. Last year, its first half operating income was $25.6 million on revenues of $763 million.

The Ethanol Division earned an operating income of $8.8 million in the second quarter. This compares to $6.2 million earned during the same period of the prior year. The higher income is the result of an increase in the company's earnings from its investments in its three ethanol limited liability company affiliates. Total revenues for the quarter were $165 million. In comparison, the division's revenues for the same period last year were $113 million. Revenues increased primarily due to higher ethanol prices. The Ethanol Division's operating income through June was $12.4 million on revenues of $297 million. In the prior year, its first half operating income was $14.8 million on revenues of $232 million.

The Plant Nutrient Group achieved operating income of $24.1 million during the second quarter of 2011, on revenues of $260 million. In the same three month period of 2010, the group had an operating income of $19 million on revenues of $228 million. This improved performance was due primarily to an increase in margin, as volume declined year over year. Margins were strong primarily as a result of nutrient price appreciation attributable to strong world demand and to a lesser extent due to a favorable product mix that included more value added products. The group's first half 2011 operating income was $29.2 million on $383 million of revenues. Last year, the operating income through the first six months was $19.7 million on revenues of $332 million. Increased revenues this year are due to higher selling prices.

The Rail Group had an operating income of $2.8 million in the second quarter on revenues of $30 million. In the same three month period of 2010, the group earned $100,000 and revenues were $24 million. This quarter, the group recognized $2.3 million in gains on sales of railcars and related leases, whereas last year a gain of $1.7 million was recorded. Gross profit from the leasing business was also higher. The average utilization rate for the quarter was 85 percent in comparison to 71 percent for the same period last year. The group's first half operating income this year was $6.3 million on $58 million of revenues. In 2010, operating income through June was $1.1 million and revenues were $50 million. These results included gains on sales of railcars and related leases of $7.1 million and $4.3 million in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The Turf & Specialty Group had an operating income of $1.8 million in the second quarter this year on $42 million of revenues. Last year, the group reported operating income of $2.5 million on $41 million of revenues for the same period. Turf products tonnage decreased slightly, and gross profit per ton declined due to higher input costs. Through the first half of 2011, the group's operating income was $5.1 million, which is similar to the prior year's result. The group's revenues for 2011 and 2010 through June were $89 million and $83 million, respectively.

The Retail Group had an operating income of $1.9 million during the second quarter of 2011 on revenues of $45 million. During the same period of the prior year, the group had an operating income of $2.1 million and revenues were $44 million. Through the first six months, the group lost $0.8 million and revenues were $77 million. Last year through June, the group lost $0.7 million on revenues of $74 million.

"We are pleased to be able to report record year to date earnings. While we have always mentioned that our second and fourth quarters are strong for us, these second quarter results were unusually strong due to the significant and accelerated grain basis income," Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson said. "The investments made in our agricultural businesses over the last several years are benefitting from a positive agricultural environment. I am particularly proud of the Grain Division's record results this year as well as PNG's strong second quarter results in the face of a delayed spring planting season. It is also worth noting that the environment in the Rail industry has improved and we believe the worst is behind us."
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