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Published: Friday, 2/8/2013

Andersons reports profit of $79.5 million in 2012

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Shares of The Andersons Inc. opened down nearly 9 percent today on the Nasdaq market after the company’s annual and fourth quarter earnings disappointed some Wall Street analysts even though its annual earnings were strong and the company previously had acknowledged it would be hard-pressed to duplicate 2011’s record profits.

The Maumee-based agribusiness posted a profit of $79.5 million, or $4.23 per share, for 2012, which was down 16 percent from the $95.1 million, or $5.09 per share, it had in 2011. The company reported its earnings Wednesday after the markets had closed.

For the fourth quarter of 2012, the company had a profit of $15 million, or 80 cents per share, a decrease of 31 percent from the same period a year ago when it had profits of $21.7 million, or $1.17 per share.

Analysts had estimated The Andersons’ fourth quarter earnings to come in at 89 cents per share. Because of the missed earnings estimate, shareholders punished The Andersons stock at the market’s opening today, pushing it down $4.25, or 8.9 percent. However, by 12:30 p.m. the stock had rebounded to be down just $1.06, or 2.2 percent, from its Wednesday closing of $47.53.

For the year, the company’s revenues increased to $5.3 billion, up from $4.6 billion in 2011. Its fourth quarter revenues totaled $1.7 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in the same period a year ago.

Overall, said chief executive officer Mike Anderson, said he was pleased by the company’s strong year.

“This is definitely one of those years where our purposeful diversification paid off,” Mr. Anderson said. “The Rail Group had its best year ever, due to skillful management of its railcar portfolio. Similarly, our Plant Nutrient Group had its second record year in a row even though margins decreased, as they increased sales volume and prudently managed their inventory.”

The Rail Group had record operating income of $42.8 million, which compared with $9.8 million it had in 2011. The Rail Group’s profit from its leasing business was significantly higher due to higher lease rates, the company said.

The Plant Nutrient Group’s record operating income totaled $39.3 million, compared to $38.3 million in 2011. Its revenues increased due to higher volume, the firm said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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