Green Plains Inc. said Wednesday that it had a fourth-quarter loss, from a profit a year earlier, on depressed selling prices for ethanol.

The Omaha-based company said the net loss was $3.6 million, or 9 cents a share, from net income of $42 million, or $1.07 a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 11 percent to $740 million.

The ethanol production unit — the company is the fourth-largest producer in the country — had an operating loss of $2.5 million, from a profit of $83 million a year earlier.

“Even with strong global and domestic ethanol blending growth, U.S. production continues to outpace demand for the time being,” Green Plains Chief Executive Todd Becker said in a statement.

Green Plains said it had a fourth-quarter profit on a pre-tax basis but that a very high tax rate caused the net loss.

Green Plains Partners, a master limited partnership whose majority owner is Green Plains Inc., said Wednesday that it had fourth-quarter net income of $12.1 million, or 37 cents a partnership unit. Green Plains Partners operates ethanol transportation and storage assets purchased from Green Plains Inc., which collects dividend income from the partnership.

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