Alto Ingredients: Diversification strategy pays off in Q1

By Erin Voegele | May 10, 2022

Alto Ingredients Inc. released first quarter 2022 financial results on May 9, reporting positive gross margin and adjusted EBITDA for the three-month period. Mike Kandris, CEO of Alto, credited the company’s diversification efforts in achieving those results.

“Our first quarter results validated our strategy to invest in specialty alcohols and essential ingredients,” Kandris said. “Product diversification, with increased sales from higher margin products combined with operational improvements, partially offset the impact of the challenging commodities market. To further our strategy, we acquired a small-package distributor serving premium spirits markets in January and qualified for additional certifications valuable to pharmaceutical customers in February. These initiatives broadened our opportunities and enhanced our position in the marketplace. We are evaluating new capital expenditure programs to create additional long-term stakeholder value. We remain focused on executing on our strategic goals, investing for future growth and diversifying our product portfolio.”

During an earnings call, Kandris noted that the company restarted its Magic Valley facility in Idaho during the final quarter of last year. The company is working to install its CoPromax high-protein solution at the facility, with the system expected to be complete in early 2023. Alto also plans to add the CoPromax technology to its other three dry mills, and currently expects those systems to be fully operational by 2025.

Alto is also working to expand corn storage capacity at its Pekin campus, which will increase the company’s corn buying flexibility. In addition, Kandris said Alto had added the ability to load corn oil into railcars at its production facilities, expanding access to higher-value corn oil markets.

Bryan McGregor, chief financial officer at Alto, said the company sold 72 million gallons during the first quarter. Specialty alcohols accounted for 23 million gallons of that volume, up 23 percent when compared to the same period of 2021.

Alto reported net sales of $308.1 million gallons for the first quarter, up from $218.7 million during the same period of last year. Gross profit as $4.8 million, compared to $13.8 million. Operating loss was $2.9 million, compared to an operating income of $5.6 million reported for the first quarter of 2021. Net loss available to common stockholders was $2.9 million, or 4 cents per share, compared to a net income of $4.4 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, reported for the same quarter of last year. Adjusted EBTIDA was $4.4 million, compared to $13.4 million.