The Andersons' Q4 net income down 15.9% year-over-year to US$21.7M as operating income in grain, plant nutrient groups decline; revenues up 8% to US$1.3B

MAUMEE, Ohio , February 9, 2012 (press release) – The Andersons, Inc. (NASDAQ:ANDE), today announced record net income attributable to the company of $95.1 million, or $5.09 per diluted share, on revenues of $4.6 billion. In the prior year, the company earned $64.7 million, or $3.48 per diluted share, and total revenues were $3.4 billion. The company earned $21.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, or $1.17 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.3 billion. In the same three month period of 2010, the company reported income of $25.8 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.2 billion. The majority of the year to year revenue increase relates to rising prices in its agricultural businesses. It is important to remember that revenues in commodity-based businesses may not serve as good indicators of income or economic performance.

The Grain Group’s 2011 operating income was a record $87.3 million. This compares to operating income of $64.4 million in 2010. The group achieved this performance due primarily to significant space income, which was impacted by substantial wheat basis appreciation and spread gains. Additionally, Lansing Trade Group had its best ever annual performance. Total revenues for the Grain Group were $2.8 billion and $1.9 billion in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Revenues increased significantly due to higher grain prices. For the fourth quarter, the group’s operating income was $27.3 million on revenues of $876 million. In the same three month period of 2010, the group had income of $35.6 million on revenue of $785 million. For the quarter, the grain business benefited from strong space income, the reversal of a $3.2 million bad debt reserve and solid performance by Lansing Trade Group.

The Ethanol Group achieved an operating income of $23.3 million in 2011. This compares to $17.0 million in the prior year. The higher income is the result of an increase in the company’s earnings from its investment in three ethanol limited liability companies. The ethanol plants have continued to maximize efficiency; additionally the plants have invested further in corn oil, E-85, and CO2, which have proven to be profitable business additions. Total revenues for the year were $642 million. In comparison, the group’s revenues for the prior year were $469 million. Revenues increased primarily due to higher ethanol prices. The group’s fourth quarter operating income was $6.5 million on revenues of $165 million. During the same three month period of 2010, its operating income was $3.0 million on revenues of $128 million.

The Plant Nutrient Group ended the year with record operating income of $38.3 million due primarily to an increase in margin resulting mainly from nutrient price appreciation and to a lesser degree from product mix. In 2010, the group had an operating income of $30.1 million. Revenues for 2011 and 2010 were $691 million and $619 million, respectively. Revenues increased in 2011 due to higher nutrient prices, which were partially offset by a decrease in volume. For the fourth quarter, the group’s operating income was $2.5 million on $170 million of revenues. Last year the group had operating income of $8.9 million during the same three month period on revenues of $159 million. The income decline in the fourth quarter includes $4.7 million of charges due to the recording of a lower of cost or market inventory adjustment and asset impairment charges.

The Rail Group had operating income of $9.8 million in 2011, a significant improvement over its $0.1 million income in 2010. Gross profit from the leasing business was significantly higher than the prior year due mainly to higher utilization and lease rates. The full year results include gains on sales of railcars and related leases of $8.4 million and $5.5 million in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The average utilization rate for 2011 was 84.6 percent, which was up from the prior year average of 73.6 percent. Revenues of $107 million for 2011 were higher than the $95 million reported in the prior year. The Rail Group had an operating income of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter on revenues of $25 million. In 2010, the operating loss for the same three month period was $1.1 million on revenues of $22 million.

The Turf & Specialty Group’s full year operating income was $2.0 million on revenues of $130 million. In 2010, the group had operating income of $3.4 million, and total revenues were $124 million. The group incurred an operating loss of $1.8 million in the fourth quarter on revenues of $18 million. Last year, its operating loss for the same period was $1.4 million on similar revenues.

The Retail Group had an operating loss of $1.5 million in 2011. In the prior year, the group’s operating loss was $2.5 million. Total sales for the group were $158 million in 2011, or 5 percent above the prior year total of $151 million. The Retail Group’s fourth quarter operating income was $0.5 million on revenues of $45 million. Last year, during the same three month period, the operating loss was $0.1 million and total revenues were $43 million.

“Clearly, both our full year and fourth quarter earnings were heavily influenced by the results within our agricultural businesses. The record full year earnings in both our Grain and Plant Nutrient groups, and second best year in the Ethanol Group, is gratifying,” CEO Mike Anderson stated. ”Our 2011 Rail Group results improved significantly from the prior year as a result of improved economic conditions.” Mr. Anderson added, “In the last year we have demonstrated our commitment to growth by adding 1.7 million bushels of grain storage capacity, beginning construction on a grain shuttle loader facility in Nebraska, and acquiring two businesses in the Plant Nutrient Group – Immokalee Farmer Supply in Florida in October of 2011, and New Eezy Gro, an Ohio based company, last week. We intend to continue to pursue our growth strategy in 2012 and beyond.”

The Andersons, Inc. is a diversified company with interests in the grain, ethanol and plant nutrient sectors of U.S. agriculture, as well as in railcar leasing and repair, turf products production, and general merchandise retailing. Founded in Maumee, Ohio, in 1947, the company now has operations across the United States, in Puerto Rico, and has rail equipment leasing interests in Canada and Mexico.

This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Without limitation, these risks include economic, weather and regulatory conditions, competition, and the risk factors set forth from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes that the assumptions upon which the financial information and its forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these assumptions will prove to be correct.

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