Earnings roundup: Ethanol sales boost Green Plains profits

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Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 5:19 pm, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter profit soared on higher production and sales of ethanol and products related to it.

The Omaha-based ethanol refiner said net income was $43.2million, or $1.04 a share, up from $2.6 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 4 percent to $733.9 million.

“With the record first quarter, Green Plains is off to a strong start for 2014,” said Chief Executive Todd Becker. “Solid domestic and export demand, as well as tight domestic stocks for ethanol, provide a favorable environment for us to continue to lock away forward margins. In the current environment, we expect results for the next several quarters to remain strong.”

Green Plains sold 231 million gallons of ethanol in the quarter, up 35 percent, consuming 82million bushels of corn to do so. Ethanol production operating income was $66.2million, compared with a loss of $2.3million, a year earlier.

Operating income from other segments, such as from sales of corn oil and animal feed and from marketing and distributing ethanol, almost doubled to $41.1 million. — Russell Hubbard

Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter booked a net loss in the first quarter because of stock compensation costs, but its results surpassed Wall Street’s expectations thanks to a sharp increase in advertising revenue.

Investors were looking for stronger user growth from the short messaging service, however, and company’s stock declined sharply in after-hours trading.

Twitter Inc. said Tuesday that it had a loss of $132.4 million, or 23 cents per share, in the January-March quarter. That compares with a loss of $27 million, or 21 cents per share, a year ago when Twitter was still privately held.

Revenue more than doubled to $250 million from $114 million. Twitter’s advertising revenue was $226 million, about 80 percent of which came from mobile advertising. — AP

Sprint

Sprint Corp. boosted its full-year forecast and reported first-quarter sales that topped analysts’ estimates even in the face of intensifying wireless competition.

Revenue increased to $8.88billion as Sprint held onto more subscribers than expected, the Overland Park, Kan.-based company said Tuesday. That topped the $8.77 billion that analysts had estimated on average. Sprint lost 231,000 branded monthly subscribers in the quarter and 333,000 total. Analysts had projected 408,000 total monthly customer losses.

The unprofitable carrier limited subscriber losses by matching rivals’ offers with phone financing and group offers it calls Framily plans, which feature monthly payment reductions as the size of the group increases. The ongoing customer erosion may bring more urgency to SoftBank Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son’s attempts to persuade U.S. regulators to consider allowing Sprint and T-Mobile to combine. — Bloomberg News

Samsung

SEOUL, South Korea — Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday that its first-quarter earnings improved moderately from the previous year.

Samsung said its January-March net income rose 6 percent and its revenues gained 2 percent.

More than three-quarters of its quarterly operating profit came from its handset business, with its Galaxy smartphones continuing to see solid sales.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 earlier in April at a lower price than its previous flagship smartphones, as sales of affordable handsets see strong growth in emerging countries. — AP

EBay

SAN JOSE, Calif. — EBay recorded a loss in the first-quarter because of a hefty tax charge on foreign earnings, but revenue jumped 14 percent as more customers shopped at its e-commerce site and its PayPal payments business stayed strong.

Adjusted results beat expectations, but the company offered weak second-quarter guidance.

The loss for the three months that ended March 31 totaled $2.33 billion, or $1.82 per share. That compares with net income of $677 million, or 51 cents per share, last year. — AP

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