The Andersons, Inc. announced financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022, and reported net income of $15 million.
"We finished the year with strong fourth quarter results, particularly in our Trade segment,," said President and CEO Pat Bowe. "Our merchandising teams and grain assets had outstanding results from improving basis after harvest, sales into destinations experiencing crop deficits, storage income and rising propane values. With another record quarter, our Trade business is positioned to execute well in these favorable markets with continuing strong ag fundamentals."
Bowe said the company enjoyed very good results in renewable fuels on solid renewable feedstock values but didn't experience the outsized ethanol margins that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2021 due to supply chain disruptions
"The ethanol crush margin outlook is currently challenged but we expect this to improve with seasonal maintenance shutdowns and increased driving demand," he said.
Bowe also noted the Plant Nutrient segment had mixed results with good fall applications and farmer engagement on specialty liquids but more limited early orders of granular fertilizer as buyers are waiting for declining prices to stabilize.
"With strong farm income, this sets us up well for a higher volume spring planting season although likely at more normalized margins," said Bowe. "Our growth project pipeline remains robust, and we expect to close several transactions and continue making growth investments in 2023."
Fourth quarter segment overview
Trade posts record fourth quarter driven by grain assets and merchandising performance
Trade recorded pretax income of $27 million and adjusted pretax income of $52 million for the quarter, 50% more than pretax income of $18 million and nearly double adjusted pretax income of $27 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.
Strong elevation margins in core grain assets and merchandising drove the significant improvement. The quarter over quarter increase reflects rising basis values, storage income, and healthy margins on shipments into grain deficit destinations. Our international merchandising business also continued to perform well in the fourth quarter.
Ag supply chain opportunities are expected to remain very strong in 2023. Continued worldwide demand coupled with supply uncertainty due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and potential weather impacts in global grain production regions, continues to keep commodity prices relatively high and provide ongoing merchandising opportunities.
An adjustment was made for an asset impairment charge of $9 million due to a reorganization of western US grain assets. Earnings were also adjusted for a $16 million charge for insured inventory that was damaged in a late December fire.
Trade's fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $72 million, which is 71% higher than fourth quarter 2021 adjusted EBITDA of $42 million. Full year adjusted EBITDA increased from $151 million in 2021 to a record $199 million in 2022, primarily as a result of improved elevation margins and outstanding merchandising results.
Renewables posts another good quarter
The Renewables segment reported pretax income of $19 million and pretax income attributable to the company of $13 million in the fourth quarter compared to record pretax income of $59 million and pretax income attributable to the company of $27 million in the same period of the prior year. Ethanol board crush margins for the 2022 fourth quarter were down over $0.90/gallon from the very strong fourth quarter of 2021. Renewable diesel feedstock merchandising results improved with the volume merchandised more than double the fourth quarter of 2021.
Sales volumes for ethanol, corn oil, and feed ingredients were up, driven by higher production and additional third-party sales from the merchandising business. Spot ethanol crush margins have declined into 2023 and are expected to seasonally move upward with driving demand. Corn oil demand is expected to remain high and merchandising of low-carbon-intensive renewable feedstocks should remain strong as additional renewable diesel facilities begin operations driving significant growth.
Renewables recorded EBITDA of $36 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to 2021 fourth quarter EBITDA of $78 million. For the full year, Renewables recorded EBITDA of $180 million in 2022, an increase of $14 million from 2021.
Plant Nutrient declines from record prior year on lower demand, falling prices
Plant Nutrient recorded pretax income of $2 million in the fourth quarter compared to record pretax income of $16 million in the same period of 2021. Falling fertilizer prices have likely shifted some demand from the fourth quarter of 2022 into 2023 as buyers wait for prices to moderate. Strong farmer income and lower prices are expected to drive higher volumes of agricultural fertilizers in the spring season, albeit at more normalized margins.
Plant Nutrient's current quarter EBITDA was $11 million compared to 2021 fourth quarter EBITDA of $24 million. For the full year, Plant Nutrient recorded EBITDA of $73 million in 2022, comparable to the prior year.