Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (GPRE)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

July 29, 2010 10:00 am ET


Jim Stark – VP, Investor and Media Relations

Todd Becker – President and CEO

Jerry Peters – CFO and Assistant Secretary

Steve Bleyl – EVP, Ethanol Marketing

Jeff Briggs – COO


Farha Aslam – Stephens, Inc.

Michael Cox – Piper Jaffray

Lawrence Alexander – Jefferies

Lucy Watson – Jefferies

Matt Farwell – Imperial Capital

Paul Resnick – Olympia Capital Markets

[Lities Etter] – Goldman Sachs

Ada Pena – TA McKay & Company

Tom McKay – Simplon Partners

Brent Ricler – Falto

Ian Harowitz – Rafferty Capital



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Previous Statements by GPRE
» Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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» Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript

Good day Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to Green Plains Renewable Energy Second Quarter 2010 Financial Results Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we’ll conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions)

I would now like to hand the conference over to Mr. Jim Stark. Sir, you may begin.

Jim Stark

Thanks. Good morning and welcome to our Second Quarter Earnings Call. Todd Becker, President and CEO; Jerry Peters, our Chief Financial Officer; and Steve Bleyl, our Executive VP of Ethanol Marketing are all on call today. We are here to discuss our second quarter financial results and recent development for Green Plains Renewable Energy.

Please remember that a number of forward-looking segments will be made during this presentation. Forward looking statements are any statements that are not historical facts.

These forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations of Green Plains’ management and there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Because forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, Green Plains actual results could differ materially from management expectations.

Information about factors that could cause such differences can be found in this morning’s earnings – yesterday’s earnings press release on Page 2, and on our 10K and other periodic SEC filings.

The information presented today is time sensitive and is accurate only at this time. If any portion of this presentation is rebroadcast, retransmitted or redistributed at a later date, Green Plains will not be reviewing or updating this material.

I will now turn the call over to Todd Becker.

Todd Becker

Thanks Jim. And thanks, everybody, for joining us today. We have a lot of topics to cover with you, so we will get started right away.

We are pleased to report our fifth consecutive quarter of profitable results and a strong finish to the first half of 2010. It is a great accomplishment for a young company and management team that was formed about a year and a half or so ago.

A milestone achieved in the second quarter was producing over 129 million gallons of ethanol. This is the result of our operations team’s continued effort, combined with the incremental investments we have made in process improvements which are now paying off with higher baseline production capabilities.

We now have a six plan platform capable of sustained production of over 500 million gallons annually. We continue to refine the production process with the goal of achieving more production from our plants in a safe operating manner.

A key benefit to achieving this increased production was the low capital investment required. The company now has 20-40 million gallons of additional annual production that cost pennies per gallon in relation to purchasing assets for a much higher cost. We also made solid strides in our Agribusiness segment during the quarter as we completed the acquisition integration of the five grain elevators in Tennessee, which expanded our grain storage capacity by 63%. We are glad to get this transaction wrapped up and we expect a positive financial contribution from this acquisition beginning next quarter.

The Retail Fertilizer Chemical business was impacted this quarter by lower prices which translated in the lower margins compared to 2009. We have seen a slight uptake in prices, which translate into a slight recovery to for the fall and spring sales margins as well.

It is a still a critical piece of our Agribusiness strategy, giving in the company early access to origination of bushels for both our grain handling and ethanol production business.

We are looking at our new Tennessee operations as well as there’s no agronomy business in place, and contemplating entering the market down there as well in 2011. We believe that every place who handles grain should have a full-service Agribusiness operation with multiple revenue and profitability strains.

As we in indicated in the press release yesterday, we’re also expanding our grain storage capacity in Iowa by adding another 1.1 million bushels of grain storage from new construction. Once completed this fall, we’ll have over 31 million bushels of storage to increase grain flow in our Agribusiness segment.

We are looking around, all of our ethanol assets to buy or build addition grain storage tributary to our production. The U.S. Farmer will continue to grow more grain on the same amount of land through the continued expansion of yields. We want to be a part of that production expansion and increase our grain and agronomy business footprint.

Another key strategic step announced last week, was the addition of corn oil extraction at our ethanol plants. We’re very excited about this project and believe once the equipment is in place it will enhance operating income by $15 to $19 million annually based on a production of 75 million to 90 million pounds of corn oil. This is a substantial recurring revenue and free cash flow stream to our business.

In all, the steps we have taken and the capitol we have invested are focused on growing our company and diversifying our revenues and income strains. We believe that we can best serve the interest of our shareholders by focusing on a long-term sustainable business model that includes all of the current elements of our business and will potentially include more growth in all segments, whether organic or acquired.

For the trailing 12 months we have produced 483 million gallons of ethanol, generated $1.7 billion in revenues, $53 million in net income, and over $117 million EBITDA. These are strong results and Jerry will go into more detail on the numbers later in the call.

Risk and margin management was an important factor for us, again, this quarter. We were successful on generating operating income in our ethanol production segment of approximately $16 million.

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