Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) Reports Strong 4Q above Street Consensus

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) posted healthy 4Q results, including reported EPS of $0.44 on $757 million in revenue on Wednesday after the market close.

For the fourth fiscal quarter, net income of $16.4 million or $0.44 per diluted share has been posted, 29% below net income of $23.1 million or $0.91 per diluted share, for the same period of 2009. This reported EPS of $0.44 is 8 cents better than street consensus of $0.36.

Revenues during the quarter of $756.8 million have been posted, an increase of 73.3% from $436.7 million for the same period of 2009, above the consensus of $652 million. Ethanol Production sales rose 59% on a 33% increase in ethanol gallons sold to 161.6 million, Agribusiness sales rose 135%, Marketing & Distribution sales rose 67% on a 46% increase in ethanol gallons sold to 273.1 million.

EBITDA rose 6% to $44.0 million despite a 250 basis points decline in operating margins, which were partly offset by $3.3 million higher D&A. Segment operating profits were $0.31/share above forecast.

The Company anticipates acquisition opportunities to surface in both ethanol and grain capacity in 2011 as the company continues to diversify its cash flow streams. Management was optimistic that the tight margin profile in the third quarter will generate additional M&A activity opportunities, as tight margins lead to production outages and cash flow issues with independent producers. Agribusiness (which posted softer than expected margin results in the fourth quarter) continues to be a focus for both operational improvement (to increase basic income) and capacity growth through acquisitions. The company’s goal of $50 million in non-ethanol related annual operating income is expected to come in part from streamlining Agribusiness as well as deploying corn oil extraction at all 9 plants.

Shares of the company went up by 1.82% to close at $12.29 after opening at $13.00 and trading with volume of 1.15 million shares. The 52-week range of the stock is $8.12-$16.96. The market capitalization of the stock stands at $439.75 million with total outstanding shares of 35.78 million.

Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (Green Plains) is organized to construct and operate dry mill, fuel-grade ethanol production facilities.

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