The Andersons reports profitable Q1 for ethanol

By Erin Voegele | May 06, 2021

The Andersons Inc. on May 4 released first quarter financial results, reporting a profitable three-month period for its ethanol business. President and CEO Pat Bowe also expressed optimism in the outlook for ethanol and coproducts moving forward.

“Our ethanol business was profitable for the first quarter, a dramatic improvement over last year when driving demand plummeted last March as a results of the pandemic,” Bowe said during a first quarter earnings call, held May 5. “Corn crush margins improved over the quarter as a result of increasing driving demand combined with lower industry stocks due to cold weather production challenges in certain parts of the country in February.”

Bowe said that ethanol coproduct margins were also strong, particularly for high-protein and conventional feeds.

With gasoline demand improving from both the pandemic recovery and seasonal driving increases, Bowe said The Andersons expects continued strength in ethanol margins. “Tight supplies are supporting ethanol prices and strong demand for coproducts is beneficial to our business results,” he said.

Bowe said that The Andersons continues to produce and sell new high-protein feed products at its ethanol plants in Colwich, Kansas, and Denison, Iowa, at good margins. Regarding plant operations, he said that spring maintenance shutdowns are complete at the four ethanol plants owned in partnership with Marathon Petroleum. The spring maintenance shutdown at the Element plant is scheduled for mid-May, he added. Moving forward, Bowe said The Andersons is well positioned to capitalize on improving margins at its network of efficient ethanol plants.

The Andersons ethanol segment reported pretax income attributable to the company of $2.9 million for the first quarter, compared to the pretax loss attributable to the company of $24 million reported for the same period of last year. Production volumes for the quarter were down slightly when compared to last year and accelerated maintenance shutdowns at two plants occurred in March 2021, according to the company. Sales volume for ethanol and corn oil, however, were up, driven by a larger portion of third-party sales from the trading business. Ethanol board crush margins have improved significantly during the quarter as driving demand rebounds. Ethanol recorded EBITDA of $22.0 million in the first quarter of 2021, up from 2020 first quarter EBITDA of $(17.5) million.

Overall, The Andersons reported net income attributable to The Andersons of $15.1 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, and adjusted net income of $15.5 million, or 46 cents per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA was $80.2 million, up $69 million when compared to the same period of 2020.