The Andersons ( ANDE) ran up more than 5% Thursday as investors laid down bullish bets ahead of its earnings report. In Nasdaq Stock Market trading, The Andersons gained $1.96 to $38.56 on about 700,000 shares traded. Shares of The Andersons are up 80% this year, benefiting from investors' appetite for ethanol plays. The company is building ethanol plants in Michigan and Indiana. Hopes are high for The Andersons' second quarter, with the Thomson First Call consensus earnings estimate sitting at 79 cents a share, up from the 49 cents a share the company earned in the March period. The Andersons is expected to release earnings Friday morning. Prior to its first-quarter earnings report, shares of The Andersons were halted in after-hours trading. Shares of The Andersons were not halted Thursday. In the first quarter, The Andersons earned $3.8 million, or 49 cents a share, beating the Thomson First Call consensus of 26 cents a share. Shares took a hit despite the beat as The Andersons issued a wide range for full-year earnings and said various exogenous factors could affect the print. On May 4, CEO Mike Anderson said: "Looking specifically at our earnings prospects for the full year, numerous factors will have a bearing on the outcome: weather patterns during the important agricultural planting and growing season within our region, nutrient and energy commodity prices, continued favorable railcar values and lease rates, retail and professional demand for lawn and garden products, and a successful launch of the new ethanol plant in Albion, Mich. In light of these variables, there is a fairly wide range in our full-year earnings projections."