The rail unit of The Andersons, Inc., continued its strong performance through the fourth quarter of 2012 to achieve record operating income of $42.8 million for the year, more than 300% higher than the segment’s 2011 operating income of $9.8 million. Revenue rose 45.8% year-over-year to $156 million in 2012. For the fourth quarter, the Rail Group had operating income of $8.6 million on revenue of $29 million, up from operating income of $2.3 million on revenue of $25 million in the same quarter of 2011.
The company said it experienced significant growth in gross profit in its leasing business due to higher lease rates, as utilization remained stable at 84.6%. The Rail Group also recognized $23.7 million in pre-tax gains on sales of railcars and related leases and non-recourse transactions (in which the company continues to provide car management services to the purchaser and typically holds an option to purchase the railcars at the end of the assigned lease), compared with $8.4 million in 2011 for similar transactions. The company’s fleet increased by more than 600 railcars in 2012, to approximately 23,300 cars.
For 2012, The Andersons as a whole reported net income attributable to the company of$79.5 million, or $4.23 per diluted share, on revenue of $5.3 billion, down from $95.1 million, or $5.09 per diluted share, on revenue of $4.6 billion the year before. The company earned $15.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, or $0.80 per diluted share, on revenue of $1.7 billion, versus net income of $21.7 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, on revenue of $1.3 billion in the same quarter of 2011.