Ethanol producer says margins narrowing

Source: Dan Piller • Des Moines Register  • Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012

Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. of Omaha, which operates ethanol plants at Superior and Shenandoah and several grain elevators in western Iowa, said it earned $38.4 million, or $1.01 per diluted share in 2011 compared to $48.0 million or $1.51 per diluted share in 2010.

Revenues were $3.6 billion for the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to $2.1 billion in 2010.

“Since late in the year spot ethanol margins have compressed,” said chief executive officer Todd Becker. “We are maintaining our disciplined approach to managing commodity risks and are continually assessing production levels to optimize our operating performance.”

For the quarter ended December 31, 2011, net income attributable to Green Plains was $13.3 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, compared to $16.4 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the same period in 2010. Revenues were $922.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $757.0 million during the same period in 2010.

“Our businesses handled and processed more than nine million tons of grain in 2011, marketed and distributed over a billion gallons of fuel and produced two million tons of animal feed which are all records for our young company,” Beckre said.

The Company generated $48.2 million of non-ethanol operating income from the corn oil production, agribusiness, and marketing and distribution segments in 2011. For the fourth quarter of 2011, non-ethanol operating income was $19.1 million, or 48 percent of total segment operating income. The corn oil production and agribusiness segments generated $9.0 million and $7.8 million of operating income in the quarter, respectively.