"The forward curve for ethanol margins has not given our team a reason to execute significant amounts of forward hedges. Recently, nearby margins have recovered somewhat but remain below historical levels. With that said, our growth in non-ethanol operating income over the last two years will continue to cushion the effect of a compressed margin structure," said Becker. "We expect to generate over $60 million of non-ethanol operating income this year, even considering the recent sale of certain agribusiness assets."
In December 2012, Green Plains completed the previously-announced sale of 12 grain elevators located in northwestern Iowa and western Tennessee. The sale resulted in an after-tax gain of $26.3 million which is included in fourth quarter 2012 results. Excluding the gain on the sale of agribusiness assets, net income attributable to Green Plains was $6.7 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter.
"Over the next two years, we plan to realign our agribusiness investment," stated Becker. "We plan to add between five and ten million bushels of grain storage capacity per year. These assets will be located around our ethanol plants to take advantage of our current infrastructure and enhance our corn origination and trading capabilities. Redefining our agribusiness strategy in this way should allow us to leverage our seven million ton processing capacity to aggressively compete for first-handle grain margins. This minimal investment per bushel should provide solid long-term returns for our shareholders."
Full-year 2012 EBITDA, which is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, noncontrolling interests, depreciation and amortization, was $115.5 million compared to $148.6 million in 2011. Green Plains had $280.1 million in total cash and equivalents and $121.4 million available under committed loan agreements at subsidiaries (subject to satisfaction of specified lending conditions and covenants) at December 31, 2012. For reconciliations of EBITDA to net income attributable to Green Plains, see "EBITDA" below.