For the first nine months of 2012, the company earned $64.5 million, or $3.43 per diluted share, on revenues of $3.6 billion. In the same period of 2011, The Andersons reported results of $73.4 million, or $3.92 per diluted share, on $3.3 billion of revenues.
The Grain Group had operating income of $10.8 million in the third quarter of 2012 versus $8.3 million for the same period last year. The group benefited from an early harvest, which resulted in higher gross profit on sales in comparison to the prior year third quarter. Space income was down considerably, as expected. This was offset by record third quarter earnings from the company's investment in Lansing Trade Group. Revenues for the Grain Group were $677 million and $539 million for the third quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively. Revenues increased primarily due to an increase in the bushels sold.
The Grain Group's operating income for the first nine months of the year was $45.5 million on revenues of $2.1 billion. Last year, its operating income through September was $60 million on revenues of $2 billion.
As announced in late October, the group has entered into an agreement to purchase the majority of the grain and agronomy assets of Green Plains Grain Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. This acquisition includes seven facilities in Iowa and five in Tennessee, with a combined grain storage capacity of approximately 32 million bushels, which increases the group's storage capacity by nearly 30%.
The Ethanol Group had an operating loss of $900,000 in the third quarter, compared to earnings of $4.4 million during the same period last year. The loss was primarily the result of a decrease in the company's earnings from its ethanol investment affiliates, whose income continues to be significantly impacted by lower ethanol margins that have resulted from increased corn costs and lower ethanol demand. Partially offsetting the group's lower margins are service income and income from co-products such as corn-oil, DDGs, E-85, and CO2. Total revenues for the quarter in 2012 and 2011 were $210 million and $179 million, respectively. Revenues were up due to the addition of the Denison, Iowa, U.S., facility in May. The group's operating loss through September was $2.9 million on revenues of $528 million. Last year, its nine month operating income was $16.8 million on revenues of $477 million.
The Plant Nutrient Group's third quarter operating income was $800,000 on revenues of $135 million. In the same three month period of 2011, the group had operating income of $6.6 million on revenues of $138 million. Margins in the third quarter were solid; however, in the prior year margins were significantly higher. The group's first nine months' operating income was $34.5 million on $619 million of revenues. Last year, its operating income through September was $35.8 million on revenues of $521 million. Increased revenues this year are due to both increased volume and higher selling prices.
The Rail Group achieved record third quarter operating income of $19.1 million on revenues of $60 million. In the same three month period of 2011, the group earned $1.1 million and revenues were $24 million. This quarter, the group recognized $13.5 million in gains on sales of railcars and related leases and non-recourse transactions (where the company continues to provide car management services to the purchaser and typically holds an option to purchase the railcars at the end of the assigned lease).
The Turf & Specialty Group had an operating loss of $1.6 million in the third quarter on $22 million of revenues. Last year, the group reported an operating loss of $1.2 million on $23 million of revenues for the same period. Through the first nine months of 2012, the group's operating income was $3.4 million on $110 million of revenues. Last year, its operating income was $3.8 million for the same period on revenues of $112 million.
"We had a great quarter, due in a large part to the exceptional results seen in our Rail Group, which has had record results every quarter this year due to skillful management of its railcar assets," Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson said. "We also had good results in the Grain Group, although some of its income has been accelerated due to the early harvest. The Grain Group's performance was impacted by record Lansing Trade Group earnings. Our expectations for the remainder of the year still remain tempered by the drought, which will continue to impact our grain and ethanol businesses through the first half of 2013. Our recent acquisitions and capital expansions, however, will pay dividends in the future. These include the acquisition of Mt. Pulaski Products, which was finalized last week, breaking ground on a new, state of the art, railcar blast and paint facility, the recent opening of our Anselmo, Nebraska grain elevator, and the previously mentioned Green Plains Grain Company, LLC acquisition. We will effectively manage through the 2012 drought, as we have to date, and will continue our focus on long term earnings growth.”