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Green Plains Reports 2019 Loss

Green Plains Reports 2019 Loss
Green Plains in Central City. RRN photo

OMAHA, Neb., Feb. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019. Net loss attributable to the company was $39.7 million, or $(1.13) per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to net income of $53.5 million, or $1.13 per diluted share, for the same period in 2018. Revenues were $715.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared with $583.5 million for the same period last year. 

Revenues attributable to the company were $2.4 billion for the year ended 2019, compared with $3.0 billion for the same period in 2018. Net loss attributable to the company for the year ended 2019, was $166.9 million, or $(4.38) per diluted share, compared with net income of $15.9 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, for the same period in 2018. 

“As 2019 continued to be a very challenging year for the company, we have launched our Total Transformation Plan to become a leading sustainable high protein and novel feed ingredient producer, while returning to being a low cost, low carbon, closed loop and sustainable biofuels producer,” commented Todd Becker, president and chief executive officer. “This was made possible by the completion of our Portfolio Optimization Plan where we reduced our debt by almost $1 billion and sold approximately $780 million of assets. Our sustainable high protein feed project at Shenandoah is in the final stages of completion and will begin commissioning in February, with full production expected during March. We have increased our offtake quantities with our customers, further validating the economic impact of this project as we embark on a plan to roll out this technology across our platform.” 

“Our Project 24 upgrade at Wood River has been transformational and it now operates as one of our best locations. This outcome has exceeded our expectations in terms of operating cost efficiencies and reduced energy consumption,” said Becker. “We remain on track to complete Project 24 upgrades at our next seven plants, with approximately one startup per month beginning in February and finishing by the end of the third quarter. In December, with Wood River complete and Madison running as expected, we achieved record monthly production, and the lowest platform operating cost per gallon in our history.”

“While fourth quarter margins became more challenging as industry production rates increased, we remained free cash flow positive for the period and achieved positive EBITDA overall,” Becker added. “This is why we remain focused on reducing operating costs through Project 24, building out our sustainable high protein feed production and transforming our platform to a highly efficient and focused biorefinery.” 

“Last year we faced numerous industry headwinds, however we are encouraged by the Administration finalizing the Phase One trade deal, and we believe the agreement could provide an additional uplift once China begins purchasing biofuels and other agricultural commodities,” said Becker. “In addition, with E15 availability estimated at over 3,000 locations in 2020, this will be an additional positive impetus for demand going forward. We expect the recent 10th Circuit Court ruling on limiting small refinery exemptions to be meaningful to the industry if adhered to by the EPA.” 

“Consistent with our previously discussed capital allocation priorities, we continue to support our Project 24 initiatives, protein ingredients platform as well as stock repurchases,” said Becker. “During 2019 we repurchased $61.6 million in shares, and continued to allocate capital to strategic repurchases during the first quarter by repurchasing $11.5 million in shares. In addition, the sale of our joint venture interest in the Jefferson terminal during December added financial strength to our balance sheet as well,” continued Becker. “This sets the company up for the future as we focus on producing sustainable high protein and novel feed ingredients while continuing to produce low carbon, closed loop and sustainable biofuels, as our energy use and water consumption continues to reduce through the implementation of Project 24.”

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