Grain, ethanol gains drive quarterly income

A roundup of business news:

MAUMEE, Ohio — Strong performances by The Andersons' grain and ethanol groups helped boost third-quarter net income to $17.2 million, up from $16.9 million a year earlier, the company reported this week.

For shareholders, that amounted to net income of 91 cents per diluted share, up from 90 cents during the comparable quarter a year earlier.

The grain group had operating income of $14.3 million in the third quarter, up from $10.8 million a year earlier.

The ethanol group had operating income of $10.9 million — a new record — and a reversal from the $900,000 operating loss a year ago.

The rail group saw a drop in third-quarter operating income, while the plant nutrient, retail and turf-and-specialty groups all had operating losses.

In East Central Illinois, the company has grain handling and storage facilities in Champaign and Mansfield.

Consolidated Communications sees quarterly income reversal

MATTOON — Consolidated Communications Holdings on Thursday reported third-quarter net income of $11.8 million, a reversal from last year's third-quarter net loss of $844,000.

For the first nine months of this year, the Mattoon-based communications provider had net income of $27.9 million, up from $3.9 million for the same period in 2012.

The big difference from a year ago is a major drop in financing and other transaction costs. Last year, Consolidated Communications merged with SureWest Communications.

For shareholders, the third-quarter results produced net income of 29 cents a share, compared with a net loss of 2 cents a share a year earlier.

CEO Bob Currey said the company accelerated its call-center consolidation plans, allowing Consolidated to hit its target of $25 million in efficiency savings nine months ahead of schedule.

The company provides Internet, video and phone services to parts of California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Cooler weather yields quarterly earnings drop for Ameren

ST. LOUIS — Cooler-than-normal weather hurt Ameren Corp.'s third-quarter earnings, the company announced Thursday.

Net income from continuing operations amounted to $305 million, down from $309 million during the same quarter in 2012.

For shareholders, that amounted to earnings of $1.25 per diluted share, down from $1.28 per diluted share in the 2012 quarter.

The cooler weather in July, August and September resulted in lower electric sales than in the same months of 2012.

For the first nine months of this year, Ameren's net income from continuing operations totaled $464 million, down from $507 million for the comparable period in 2012.

First Busey names CFO's successor

CHAMPAIGN — Robin N. Elliott has been named First Busey Corp.'s chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1, 2014.

He will succeed David B. White, who will continue in that position through Dec. 31 and remain an employee through July 1, 2014, when he is scheduled to retire.

Elliott, 37, will continue as director of Busey Bank's Business Banking Group until Dec. 31, according to a filing First Busey made this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When Elliott becomes chief financial officer, Susan K. Miller, 55, will become deputy chief financial officer. Miller, also a certified public accountant, joined Busey in 2011 as director of finance.

Senior vice president taking reins as new CEO

MATTOON — Joseph R. Dively has been named to succeed William S. Rowland as chairman, president and CEO of Mattoon-based First Mid-Illinois Bancshares, the company recently announced.

Dively is senior executive vice president of the bank holding company and president of its subsidiary, First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust.

Rowland will retire Dec. 31 after nearly 25 years at First Mid. During that time, the company's staff has grown from fewer than 100 people in five communities to more than 400 in 25 communities.

Dively, a former senior vice president at Consolidated Communications Holdings, served on the First Mid board from 2004 until 2011 before joining the management team in 2011.

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