CHS Inc., the nation's leading agribusiness cooperative, recently announced financial results for the third quarter and the first nine months of fiscal year 2019. Net income for the fiscal 2019 third quarter was reported at $54.6 million, compared to $181.8 million for the restated third quarter of fiscal 2018. While third-quarter results were sharply lower, the company noted that net income for the first nine months of fiscal 2019 was $650.9 million, a 21.5% increase from $535.5 million for the restated first nine months of fiscal 2018.
"Our cooperative continues to perform well through the first nine months of the fiscal year. Though our net income was down compared to the prior-year third quarter of fiscal 2018, the first nine months of fiscal year 2019 have been strong," CHS president and chief executive officer Jay Debertin said.
Debertin further relayed that during the third quarter, the company completed the acquisition of the remaining 75% ownership interest in West Central Distribution LLC, a full-service wholesale distributor of agronomy products headquartered in Willmar, Minn.
“The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to provide more of the products, services and technology our owners need to compete. Scheduled maintenance at our refinery in McPherson, Kan., slowed production of refined fuels, but that maintenance investment will enable CHS to better serve our owners and rural America in the long term. We are committed and working hard to maximize earnings for our owners by creating connections to empower agriculture.”
Debertin said uncertainty in international trade markets continues to create difficult circumstances for the agribusiness sector. Additionally, weather challenges led to late planting that hurt many farmers.
"We traveled throughout our trade territory this spring to meet with our owners, and every location we visited was impacted by heavy spring rains and late planting,” he said. “At CHS, we are working to navigate external challenges, and we are committed to leveraging the strength of our supply chain to help our owners and customers navigate as the year progresses."
The following business segment results were reported for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to the restated third quarter of fiscal 2018:
A $92.7 million decrease in Energy pretax earnings reflected:
- The impact associated with the turnaround – scheduled maintenance to repair and improve operations – at the McPherson refinery.
- The return of Canadian crude oil prices to more normalized levels, where they are expected to remain for the rest of fiscal 2019.
- Gains realized in fiscal 2018 on sales of 34 Zip Trip stores and the Council Bluffs, Iowa, pipeline that did not recur in fiscal 2019.
A $39 million decrease in Agriculture segment pretax earnings was driven by:
- Decreased margins and volumes for grains and oilseeds, poor weather conditions that included heavy snow and rainfall, historic flooding on waterways and continuing global trade tensions.
- Increased loan loss reserves associated with the challenging agricultural environment.
A $1.4 million increase in Nitrogen Production pretax earnings reflected increased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen, of which CHS is a part owner.
Corporate & Other
A $44.9 million decrease in Corporate & Other pretax earnings reflected a gain in the fiscal 2018 third quarter from the sale of CHS Insurance that did not recur in the third quarter of fiscal 2019.