Andersons profits off as drought's effects linger

MAUMEE, Ohio — First-quarter earnings dropped at The Andersons, as last year's drought cut into demand for grain storage.

The Maumee, Ohio-based company reported Tuesday that first-quarter net income was $12.3 million, down from $17.7 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Diluted earnings amounted to 67 cents a share, down from 98 cents a share for the same quarter a year earlier.

The company is divided into six business groups, with the Grain Group the largest of those in terms of revenue.

The Grain Group had operating income of $8.3 million during the first quarter, down from $19.4 million for the same quarter last year.

"Inventories have declined as a result of the 2012 drought, and market carry was much lower than the previous year," a company release stated.

The Rail Group had operating income of $14.6 million, up from $8 million a year earlier. Higher lease rates and increased income from car financings helped boost income.

The Plant Nutrient Group had an operating loss of $600,000, compared with operating income of $5.8 million a year earlier.

"The lower revenue and income (for that group) were primarily due to weather-related delays in fieldwork that led to approximately a one-third decrease in volume," the company said. "This volume has likely been shifted to the second quarter."

Here are the results for the other three groups:

— The Turf & Specialty Group had operating income of $4 million, up from $2.2 million a year earlier.

— The Ethanol Group had operating income of $2.5 million, up from $121,000 a year earlier.

— The Retail Group had an operating loss of $3.2 million, compared with an operating loss of $2.7 million a year earlier.

"The 2012 drought ... continues to impact our profitability," CEO Mike Anderson said, adding it will continue to affect the company's grain and ethanol businesses this year.

"While the Plant Nutrient Group was impacted by adverse weather in the first quarter, (it) should benefit from an anticipated record corn-crop planting in the second quarter, as long as the weather cooperates," he added.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (2):Agriculture, Economy

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