The Andersons, Inc. announced third quarter net income attributable to the company of $16.9 million, or $0.90 per diluted share, on revenues of $1.1 billion. In the third quarter of 2011, the company reported results of $10.9 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, on revenues of $939 million. For the first nine months of 2012, the company earned $64.5 million, or $3.43 per diluted share, on revenues of $3.6 billion. In the same period of 2011, The Andersons reported results of $73.4 million, or $3.92 per diluted share, on $3.3 billion of revenues.
The Rail Groupachieved record third quarter operating income of $19.1 million on revenues of $60 million. In the same three month period of 2011, the group earned $1.1 million and revenues were $24 million. This quarter, the group recognized $13.5 million in gains on sales of railcars and related leases and non-recourse transactions (where the company continues to provide car management services to the purchaser and typically holds an option to purchase the railcars at the end of the assigned lease). In the third quarter of 2011, the company recognized a gain on similar transactions of $0.7 million. Gross profit from the leasing business was significantly higher due primarily to an increase in the average lease rate. The average utilization rate for the quarter was approximately 84 percent, which is down slightly from 85 percent last year. The rail fleet has increased to approximately 23,400 cars from 22,300 last year. The group's first nine months operating income was $34.3 million on $128 million of revenues. In 2011, operating income through September was $7.4 million and revenues were $82 million. These results include gains similar to those aforementioned of $22.2 million and $7.7 million in 2012 and 2011, respectively.
The Grain Grouphad operating income of $10.8 million in the third quarter of 2012 versus $8.3 million for the same period last year. The group benefited from an early harvest, which resulted in higher gross profit on sales in comparison to the prior year third quarter. Space income was down considerably, as expected. This was offset by record third quarter earnings from the company's investment inLansing Trade Group. Revenues for theGrain Groupwere $677 million and $539 million for the third quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively. Revenues increased primarily due to an increase in the bushels sold. The Grain Group's operating income for the first nine months of the year was $45.5 million on revenues of $2.1 billion. Last year, its operating income through September was $60.0 million on revenues of $2.0 billion. As announced last week, the group has entered into an agreement to purchase the majority of the grain and agronomy assets ofGreen Plains Grain Company, LLC, a subsidiary ofGreen Plains Renewable Energy, Inc.This acquisition includes seven facilities in Iowa and five in Tennessee, with a combined grain storage capacity of approximately 32 million bushels, which increases the group's storage capacity by nearly 30 percent. The Iowa locations also have 30,000 tons of fertilizer storage space.
The Plant Nutrient Group's third quarter operating income was $0.8 million on revenues of $135 million. In the same three month period of 2011, the group had operating income of $6.6 million on revenues of $138 million. Margins in the third quarter were solid; however, in the prior year margins were significantly higher. The group's first nine months' operating income was $34.5 million on $619 million of revenues. Last year, its operating income through September was $35.8 million on revenues of $521 million. Increased revenues this year are due to both increased volume and higher selling prices.