CHS Inc. has released results for its fiscal third quarter ended May 31, 2021. The company reported net income of $273.6 million compared to $97.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, an increase of 180.2%. Significant year-over-year earnings growth in all business segments – Energy, Ag and Nitrogen Production – and Corporate and Other businesses each contributed to the increase.
Reflecting strong company performance, the CHS Board of Directors has approved $50 million in additional equity redemptions to member cooperatives and individual owners since the December 2020 CHS Annual Meeting. The increase is incremental to $33 million in approved equity redemptions announced at the 2020 annual meeting, for a total of $83 million in planned owner equity redemptions in fiscal 2021. A distribution of $30 million in cash patronage was also made to owners in early calendar 2021, based on business transacted with CHS in fiscal 2020.
“Robust performance across CHS resulted in a very strong third quarter,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Strong global demand in agricultural markets and the hard work we have been doing to gain efficiencies across our supply chain led to higher volumes in nearly every business area, significantly improving our Ag segment earnings compared to the prior year’s third quarter.
“We also are seeing increasing momentum in pandemic recovery as restrictions ease and vaccination efforts progress, which has had a favorable impact on our Energy segment results and overall performance.”
Fiscal 2021 Third-Quarter Highlights
- Revenues of $10.9 billion grew 50.9% from $7.2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
- Earnings were up by more than 40% across all business segments (and Corporate and Other businesses) compared to both the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and the third quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Energy segment results
- Improved refined fuels margins resulted in fiscal 2021 third quarter margin gains, as did the absence of a $42.0 million noncash charge to reduce refined fuels inventories to their market value that impacted the prior year’s third quarter, but did not reoccur in the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
- Improved margins in the company’s refined fuels business were partially offset by significantly higher prices of renewable energy credits that had a negative impact on margins of approximately $82.0 million, less favorable pricing on heavy Canadian crude oil and lower propane margins due to the reversal of hedging gains recognized during the prior year.
- Overall, revenues increased by 24.2% and earnings increased by $59.6 million over the fiscal 2021 second quarter, reflecting volume and margin recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
Ag segment results
- Strong global demand drove commodity prices higher, and improved trade relations between the United States and foreign trade partners led to continued higher volumes for grain and oilseed, which significantly improved Ag segment earnings compared to the prior year’s third quarter.
- Higher overall margins were partially offset by mark-to-market losses for certain processing and food ingredients products, which the company expects to reverse over time.
- Lower volumes of feed and farm supplies were partially offset by increased volumes for agronomy products, stemming from stronger demand due to favorable weather conditions, compared with the previous year’s third quarter.
Other focus areas
- Nitrogen Production segment earnings increased in the quarter due to higher income attributed to increased sale prices of urea and urea ammonium nitrate.
- Favorable market conditions for edible oils and a recovery in sales volumes compared to earlier in the pandemic drove significantly increased income through the company’s investment in Ventura Foods, LLC.
- Focused cost-reduction initiatives, launched in fiscal 2021, continued to gain traction in reducing year-to-date marketing, general and administrative expenses.
- The company began to bring employees back to its global offices in full or hybrid capacities as pandemic restrictions lifted. The costs of these activities are not expected to be material.
For the nine months ended May 31, 2021, CHS reported net income of $305.0 million versus $401.0 million for the same period in fiscal 2020.
“We are encouraged by overall improvements in the global economy and the positive traction we’re gaining at CHS with initiatives focused on working more efficiently and effectively throughout the enterprise,” said Debertin. “We are optimistic conditions will continue to improve over the next 12 months. The resilience of our employees and their commitment to our owners and customers has been inspiring and we look forward to the future and continued shared success.”