CHS earnings tumble in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. PAUL, MINN. — Net income at CHS Inc. fell 30% to $242,186,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ended Nov. 30, 2013, down from $343,707,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 and compared with $416,208,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Revenues also fell, declining 6% to $11,026,121,000 from $11,709,938,000. CHS said the sales decline reflected lower average selling prices for grains and oilseeds.

The company’s Ag Business segment, which consists of CHS’s agronomy, grain marketing and retail operations, posted operating earnings of $125,257,000 in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up 2% from $122,639,000 in the same period a year ago. Sales in the segment totaled $7,488,088,000, down 12% from $8,501,741,000 a year ago.

“Grain revenues in our Ag segment totaled $5.6 billion and $6.5 billion during the three months ended Nov. 30, 2013, and 2012, respectively,” CHS said in a Jan. 8 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Of the grain revenues decrease of $0.9 billion (14%), $1.3 billion is due to decreased average grain selling prices, partially offset by a $413.4 million increase due to a 6% net increase in volumes, during the three months ended Nov. 30, 2013, compared to the same period of the previous year. The average sales price of all grain and oilseed commodities sold reflected a decrease of $2.13 per bus (19%) over the three months ended Nov. 30, 2012. Wheat and soybeans had increased volumes, while corn had decreased volumes compared to the three months ended Nov. 30, 2012.

“Our processing and food ingredients revenues in our Ag segment of $478.0 million decreased $2.6 million (1%) during the three months ended Nov. 30, 2013, compared to the three months ended Nov. 30, 2012. The net decrease in revenues is comprised of $9.2 million from a decrease in the average selling price of our oilseed products, partially offset by a net increase of $6.6 million related to increased volumes, as compared to the three months ended Nov. 30, 2012. Typically, changes in average selling prices of oilseed products are primarily driven by the average market prices of soybeans.”

The company’s share of earnings from its 50% ownership of Ventura Foods, L.L.C., a vegetable oil-based food manufacturing business, improved, as did those from its 24% CHS share of Horizon Milling, L.L.C., a wheat miller.

Energy earnings in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 fell 53% to $140,058,000 from $296,915,000, while sales increased 11% to $3,679,234,000 from $3,324,228,000.
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