The Andersons, Inc., the No. 26 ranked retailer on the CropLife 100, announced record first quarter net income attributable to the company of $18.4 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.1 billion. In the same three month period of 2011, the company reported results of $17.3 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, on $1.0 billion of revenues.
The Grain Group reported record first quarter operating income of $19.4 million in 2012, and $15.1 million for the same period of the prior year. The group benefited from strong space income and very good first quarter earnings from the investment in Lansing Trade Group. First quarter revenues for the group were $700 million and $638 million for 2012 and 2011, respectively. Revenues increased due to a slight increase in both the average grain price and bushels sold.
The Ethanol Group had operating income of $0.1 million in the first quarter. This compares to $3.6 million earned during the same period of 2011. The decreased income is the result of a decline in the company’s earnings from its ethanol investment affiliates, whose income was negatively impacted by lower ethanol margins resulting from increased industry production and lower demand led by declining exports. There was, however, increased income from corn oil, E-85, and CO2. Total revenues for the quarter were $151 million. In comparison, the group’s revenues for the same period last year were $133 million. The revenue increase is primarily due to an increase in the average price per gallon.
The Plant Nutrient Group achieved operating income of $5.8 million during the first quarter. In the same three month period of 2011, the group reported $5.1 million of operating income. This improved performance was due entirely to an increase in volume. Margin was down slightly from the prior year due to lower price appreciation. The volume increase is primarily the result of good application weather in March and pent up demand from the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenues for the first quarter of 2012 and 2011 were $175 million and $124 million, respectively. Revenues grew due to an increase in both the average selling price and volume.
The Rail Group had record first quarter operating income of $8.0 million on revenues of $36 million. In the same three month period of 2011, the group earned $3.5 million and revenues were $29 million. The group’s revenue and income benefitted from higher utilization and lease rates. The group recognized $6.3 million in gains on sales of railcars and related leases, whereas last year during the same quarter $4.8 million was recorded. The average utilization rate for the quarter was 85.7% in comparison to 82.4% for the same period last year. Income from the railcar repair business has also increased considerably.
The Turf & Specialty Group reported operating income of $2.2 million on $45 million of revenues during the first quarter. Last year, the group reported $3.3 million of income on $47 million of revenues for the period.
The Retail Group had an operating loss of $2.7 million during the first quarter of both 2012 and 2011. Revenues for both years were also comparable at $30 million and $31 million for 2012 and 2011, respectively.
“Our agricultural businesses continue to perform well. Although we will not see the same wheat basis gains we did last year, we are pleased with the year-to-date corn planting progress, on what is expected to be an approximate 96 million acre crop. It is also gratifying to report record earnings in our Rail Group, which struggled for a few years during the economic downturn,” CEO Mike Anderson stated. “Quality growth investments continue to be a priority for us. In January, we added New Eezy Gro, to our Plant Nutrient Group; an Ohio based specialty agricultural and industrial company with two locations. Last week, our new ethanol investment affiliate, The Andersons Denison Ethanol LLC, acquired an existing ethanol plant in Denison, IA., from Amaizing Energy Company. We will operate the plant and handle all marketing and origination services as we do for the other three ethanol LLCs in which we have an investment,” added Mr. Anderson.
“In spite of the above we believe the second quarter will be challenging, primarily due to the expectation of a significant drop in wheat space income in the Grain Group. Lower margins are also expected during the second quarter in both our Ethanol and Plant Nutrient groups. We do believe, however, that these factors will be partially offset by significantly increased performance in Rail. Overall, we expect 2012 to be our second best year ever,” concluded Mr. Anderson.