Rex American considers purchasing, building new ethanol plants

By Erin Voegele | August 28, 2014

Rex American Resources Corp. has released financial results for the second quarter, with the company’s CEO and Chairman Stuart Rose reporting the period was Rex American’s best quarter in terms of earnings per share.

The company reported net sales and revenues of $150.2 million, compared to $175.4 million during the same period of 2013. The reduction is attributed to reduced ethanol and distillers grains pricing. Gross profit was $38.8 million, up from $10.9 million the prior year. Rex American attributed the increase to the continued strength of ethanol crush spread margins. Equity in income of unconsolidated ethanol affiliates increased to $7.2 million, comparted with $4.6 million during the second period of 2013. Net income from continuing operations before income taxes and non-controlling interests was $40.7 million, compared to $10.3 million the previous year. Net attributable to Rex American shareholders was $21.9 million, up from $5.8 million in the second quarter. Diluted net income per share attributable to Rex American common shareholders rose to a record $2.68 per share, compared to 71 cents per share during the same period of the previous year.

During a call to discuss the results, Rose indicated Rex American is actively looking to purchase additional ethanol plants. He also noted the company is actively exploring the construction of one or two new ethanol plants.

Regarding the purchase of existing plants, Rose said the company has had not success to-date, as economics are currently strong in the ethanol industry and companies are not looking to sell their operations. He said that in the past Rex American has always made opportunistic purchases of ethanol plants at very attractive prices, and doesn’t intend to change that purchasing strategy. He also said the company is interested in buying out existing partners and plants. While Rose added the Rex American is actively exploring the construction of new plants, he also stressed the company is not sure it will be possible to build new plants due to regulatory hurdles.

Rex American currently holds partial ownership in seven ethanol plants. The company owns 74 percent of Gibson City, Illinois-based One Earth Energy LLC, 99 percent of Marion, South Dakota-based NuGen Energy LLC, 27 percent of Annawan, Illinois-based Patriot Holdings LLC, 10 percent of West Burlington, Iowa-based Big River Resources West Burlington LLC, 10 percent of Galva, Illinois-based Big River Resources Galva LLC, 5 percent of Dyersville, Iowa-based Big River United Energy LLC, and 10 percent of Boyceville, Wisconsin-based Big River Resources Boyceville LLC.