Green Plains revenues up $1.5 billion

By Green Plains Renewable Energy | February 09, 2012

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended Dec. 31. Net income attributable to Green Plains for the full year of 2011 was $38.4 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, compared to $48 million or $1.51 per diluted share in 2010. Revenues were $3.6 billion for the year ended Dec. 31, compared to $2.1 billion in 2010.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, net income attributable to Green Plains was $13.3 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, compared to $16.4 million, or 44 cents per diluted share, for the same period in 2010. Revenues were $922.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $757 million during the same period in 2010.

"In three short years, we have successfully built a large, diversified platform capable of generating solid operating results and strong cash flows, and we are not done growing," stated Todd Becker, president and CEO. "Our businesses handled and processed more than nine million tons of grain in 2011, marketed and distributed over a billion gallons of fuel and produced two million tons of animal feed which are all records for our young company. Our nine ethanol plants produced a record 722 million gallons of ethanol last year, an increase of nearly 33 percent over 2010. In addition, we developed a new business segment during 2011 that extracted 96 million pounds of corn oil, and we increased our grain storage capacity to 39 million bushels."

The company generated $48.2 million of non-ethanol operating income from the corn oil production, agribusiness and marketing and distribution segments in 2011. For the fourth quarter of 2011, non-ethanol operating income was $19.1 million, or 48 percent of total segment operating income. The corn oil production and agribusiness segments generated $9 million and $7.8 million of operating income in the quarter, respectively.

"Since late in the year spot ethanol margins have compressed. We are maintaining our disciplined approach to managing commodity risks and are continually assessing production levels to optimize our operating performance. The long-term fundamentals for ethanol are solid. There continues to be a strong economic incentive to blend ethanol and we expect certification of E15 in the near future," said Becker. "With our strategy of diversification and focus on operating efficiencies, combined with our strong cash balance, we believe we are well positioned to manage through sustained cyclical downturns."

EBITDA, which is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, noncontrolling interests, depreciation and amortization, for the full year of 2011 was $148.6 million compared to $129.6 million for the same period of 2010. Green Plains had $194.6 million total cash and equivalents and $221.6 million available under committed loan agreements at subsidiaries (subject to satisfaction of specified lending conditions and covenants) at Dec. 31. EBITDA was $45.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to $43.9 million during the same period of 2010.

2011 Business Highlights

  • In March 2011, Green Plains completed the purchase of an ethanol plant from Otter Tail Ag Enterprises LLC located near Fergus Falls, Minn. The acquisition expanded Green Plains' ethanol production to an expected 740 million gallons annually. 
  • During 2011, Green Plains completed the installation of corn oil extraction equipment at its ethanol plants. The company expects to produce approximately 130 million pounds of corn oil annually from its nine plants. 
  • Green Plains' agribusiness segment added 5 million bushels of grain storage capacity during 2011 and early 2012, bringing total storage capacity for the segment to 39.1 million bushels. In June, Green Plains completed the acquisition of 2 million bushels of grain storage located in Hopkins, Mo.  In January 2012, Green Plains completed the acquisition of the grain elevator assets of KW Carter Company d/b/a JW Grain located in St. Edward, Neb.  The St. Edward facility has 1.9 million bushels of grain storage and is located approximately 40 miles from the company's Central City ethanol production facility. Once a planned expansion at the St. Edward facility is completed, Green Plains will have approximately 40 million bushels of grain storage capacity at 15 agribusiness locations in four states. 
  • In September 2011, Green Plains completed the repurchase of 3.5 million shares of its common stock from a subsidiary of NTR plc, its largest shareholder, at a price of $8 per share. The $28 million repurchase was funded from 2011 operations. 
  • Also in September 2011, Fortune Magazine ranked Green Plains 8th on its 2011 "100 Fastest-Growing Companies" list. 
  • BioProcess Algae LLC completed the construction of one and a half acres of outdoor Grower Harvester reactors in the fall of 2011. In October 2011, Green Plains and BioProcess Algae announced successful completion of the first round of algae-based poultry feed trials. BioProcess Algae continues to proceed with further testing for poultry markets and has begun construction on a five acre project at Green Plains' Shenandoah ethanol production facility. BioProcess Algae is working with various firms to develop high-quality, low-cost feedstocks for human nutrition, animal feed and fuel markets.
  • In July 2011, Green Plains purchased the remaining noncontrolling interests of BlendStar LLC. In November 2011, Green Plains announced that BlendStar would build, own and operate a new ethanol unit train terminal in Birmingham, Ala. on the BNSF Railway. The new terminal will have 160,000 barrels of storage capacity and will receive full 96-car unit trains of ethanol, which can be offloaded within 24 hours. The terminal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2012. BlendStar's existing terminal will be retrofitted to handle other biofuels and liquid products when construction of the new unit train facility is complete. 
  • Green Plains Trade Group and Green Plains Grain expanded their respective revolving credit facilities during 2011, providing additional liquidity to finance inventories and trade receivables. In January, the senior secured revolving credit facility of Green Plains Trade Group was expanded to $70 million from $30 million. Green Plains Grain completed a $195 million syndicated revolving line of credit and a $30 million amortizing term loan in October. Proceeds from the facilities were used to repay existing indebtedness and provide working capital funding and funds for other general purposes.