CHS Reports Fiscal 2021 Second-Quarter Results

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, today released results for its fiscal second quarter ended Feb. 28, 2021. The company reported a net loss of $38.2 million versus net income of $125.4 million in the same quarter in fiscal 2020. Significant year-over-year earnings increases in Ag and Nitrogen Production segments and Corporate and Other businesses were offset primarily by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts in Energy.

“Improved trade relations between the United States and foreign trade partners combined with our operating efficiency initiatives led to record grain and oilseed volume increases and continued price gains, significantly improving our Ag segment earnings over the prior year,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Additionally, favorable growing conditions and overall strength in agriculture, helped drive demand for crop inputs, including crop nutrients and crop protection products and services.

“Our Energy segment, while showing improvement over the previous quarter, continues to experience unfavorable refined fuels market conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and exceptionally higher costs for renewable energy credits. These factors resulted in volume and margin declines that significantly reduced earnings compared to the prior year.”

Fiscal 2021 second-quarter results reflect: 

  • Revenues of $8.3 billion versus $6.6 billion in fiscal 2020 second quarter, a 26.1% increase. 
  • Energy segment impacts that include:  
    • Continued low refining margins stemming from COVID-19-impacts on global energy demand.
    • Exceptionally high costs of renewable energy credits, which decreased margins.
    • Decreased propane margins and volumes due to warm winter weather conditions across the CHS trade territory during most of the fiscal 2021 second quarter.
    • Modest improvements over fiscal 2021 first quarter as volumes and margins began to rebound. 
  • Ag segment impacts that include:  
    • Favorable weather conditions and improved relations between the U.S. and foreign trade partners, including China, that increased volumes of grain and oilseed commodities as well as feed and farm supplies.
    • Higher margins for certain agricultural products, including processing and food ingredients, which improved because of soybean crush strength.
  • Enterprisewide initiatives that include:  
    • Focused cost-reduction initiatives launched in fiscal 2021 that helped reduce marketing, general and administrative costs.
    • COVID-19-related working arrangements and increased hygiene and infection-control processes to mitigate risk and support business continuity – all CHS operations were deemed to be essential infrastructure industries by federal and state governments.

For the six-month period ending Feb. 28, 2021, CHS reported net income of $31.4 million versus $303.3 million for the same period in fiscal 2020. Revenues for the first six months of fiscal 2021 rose to $17.0 billion, a $2.8 billion, or 19.8%, increase from $14.2 billion in the same period the previous year.

“I am encouraged by the resilience of our employees and their commitment to owners in what continues to be a challenging operating environment,” said Debertin. “We are cautiously optimistic about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and other progress being made in response to the pandemic in the U.S. and around the world and the potential impact on our domestic and global businesses.

“As we look ahead to the second half of fiscal 2021, we remain committed to protecting the financial health of CHS, adding efficiency throughout our enterprise to benefit owners and customers, and caring for those who depend on us as we continue creating connections to empower agriculture.”

CHS income chart

This document and other CHS Inc. publicly available documents contain, and CHS officers and representatives may from time to time make, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Report Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on CHS current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its businesses, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of CHS control. CHS actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause CHS actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements are discussed or identified in CHS filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the “Risk Factors” discussion in Item 1A of CHS Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020. Any forward-looking statements made by CHS in this document are based only on information currently available to CHS and speak only as of the date on which the statement is made. CHS undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by applicable law.

Danger within: Know the risks of grain bin entry

Since 2014, Nationwide and partners including CHS, have provided 150 rescue tubes and grain bin safety training to local fire departments across 29 states to help keep farmers safe.

The interior of a grain bin is one of the most hazardous places on a farm, so the best way to resolve situations with stored grain is safely outside. If you must enter a bin, be sure to know what you might find and plan accordingly.

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CHS reports $69.7 million in first quarter fiscal 2021 net income

Farm equipment in field during harvest

On Jan., 6, 2021, CHS Inc., reported net income of $69.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 that ended Nov. 30, 2020. This compares to net income of $177.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

The results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 reflect:

  • Revenues of $8.7 billion compared to revenues of $7.6 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.
  • Impacts in the CHS Energy segment that included:
    • Exceptionally low crack spreads and other unfavorable market conditions in our refined fuels business, driven primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in volume and price declines that significantly reduced earnings in our Energy segment compared to the same period of the prior year.
    • Decreased propane demand that resulted from warmer and drier fall weather during the first quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year.
  • Impacts in the CHS Ag segment that included:
    • Improved relations between the United States and foreign trading partners that drove increased volumes and margins for grain and oilseed.
    • Favorable weather conditions during fall harvest compared to the prior year that drove increased volumes and margins across much of our Ag segment.

“Our employees’ commitment throughout the first quarter allowed us to consistently deliver products and services to our owners and customers around the world,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “A good growing season led to a good harvest season, and we saw commodity price rallies from spring and summer carry into fall. Those good weather conditions led to the highest volume fall fertilizer season we’ve seen since 2013 despite volatility in the nitrogen and phosphate markets.

“Improved trade opportunities with China and improved trade activity in Europe and Africa helped drive first quarter improvement in our global grain business. Our animal nutrition volumes also saw growth in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021,” Debertin said. “We saw year-over-year increases in premium diesel sales with rural America continuing to rely on us for their energy needs. However, our overall Energy segment experienced ongoing challenges on refined fuels margins as the pandemic continues to challenge the energy industry. Throughout the remainder of our fiscal year, we will remain focused on our key priorities including protecting the financial health of CHS, caring for those who depend on us and bringing efficiencies to how we run our businesses and deliver products.”

CHS Inc. FY2021 Q1 Earnings by Segment balance sheet

This document and other CHS Inc. publicly available documents contain, and CHS officers and representatives may from time to time make, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Report Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on CHS current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its businesses, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of CHS control. CHS actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause CHS actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements are discussed or identified in CHS filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the “Risk Factors” discussion in Item 1A of CHS Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020. Any forward-looking statements made by CHS in this document are based only on information currently available to CHS and speak only as of the date on which the statement is made. CHS undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by applicable law.

CHS Inc. owners elect seven board members during CHS Annual Meeting

Officers of board also elected by board peers following annual meeting

CHS Inc. owners elected seven board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2020 annual meeting held virtually Dec. 3 in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. CHS Inc. is the nation’s largest cooperative and a leading global agribusiness company owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States.

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CHS reports $125.4 million in second quarter net income

Sunset over a farm

April 8, 2020

Dear Owners:

We are pleased to share our second quarter results for fiscal year 2020. We reported net income of $125.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, which ended Feb. 29, 2020. This compares to net income of $248.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The company reported revenues of $6.6 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to revenues of $6.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. In the first six months of fiscal year 2020, CHS reported net income of $303.3 million compared to net income of $596.3 million in the first six months of fiscal year 2019.

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CHS reports $177.9 million in first quarter net income

Truck delivering propane to residential home in winter

Significant increase in fall propane demand helped balance difficult market conditions

CHS reported net income of $177.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 that ended Nov. 30, 2019. This compares to net income of $347.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 reflect:

  • Revenues of $7.6 billion compared to revenues of $8.5 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Strong supply chain performance in our propane business that was a positive contributor resulting from efficient sourcing of propane during significantly increased fall demand – brought on by unseasonably early cold and wet weather during harvest – for crop drying and home heating.
  • Less advantageous market conditions in our refined fuels business compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, during which the company experienced historically wide pricing spreads between Canadian crude oil and crude oil from the United States. CHS processes Canadian crude oil at its refineries in Laurel, Montana, and McPherson, Kansas.
  • Poor weather conditions that occurred in fiscal year 2019 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 continued to negatively impact our Ag segment’s operations, resulting in lower crop yields, poor grain quality in some areas and lower fall crop nutrients sales.
  • Pressure on grain volume and margins due to slow movement of grain associated with unresolved trade issues between the United States and foreign trading partners.
  • Decreased fertilizer volumes compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 due to a slow harvest in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

“We are not immune to the challenges of our industry, and our first quarter results reflect the difficulties brought on by fall weather and ongoing trade tensions,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “The cooperative system, however, provides CHS and its owners stability to withstand these difficult times. Our focus remains on building efficiencies in our supply chain and on operating in this challenging agricultural environment.

“During a cold and wet harvest, we leveraged our supply chain to meet the significant increase in propane needs of our owners and customers,” Debertin continued. “Our focus on meeting the needs of our owners helped deliver the successful launch of two products – Acuvant™ and Trivar™ – that will be available for spring planting.

“We know the remainder of fiscal year 2020 will continue to present challenges, and we are confident in our ability to find opportunities in those challenges, to help our owners grow their businesses and to continue to strengthen our company,” he said. “No one feels those challenges more than our owners. We remain committed to supporting communities and experts as they address the stress felt across rural America.”

First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Business Segment Results

The following segment results were reported for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Energy
Pretax earnings of $162.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to $232.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Significantly less advantageous market conditions, driven primarily by decreased crude oil spreads on heavy Canadian crude oil processed at our refineries and, to a lesser extent, decreased crack spreads in our refined fuels business compared to the same period during fiscal year 2019. The decreased crude oil differentials and lower crack spreads were partially offset by favorable hedging activity in refined fuels.
  • The decrease in pretax income for refined fuels was partially offset by significantly improved propane margins from a late, wet crop combined with unseasonably cold weather across much of CHS service area that led to increased fall demand for crop drying and home heating compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Ag
Pretax loss of $13.9 million compared to pretax earnings of $80.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflects:

  • Poor weather conditions in fiscal year 2019 that culminated in a late and smaller fall harvest, resulting in decreased demand for farm supplies and crop nutrient products.
  • Ongoing global trade tensions between the United States and foreign trading partners continued to negatively impact grain volumes and margins.
  • Lower margins in our processing and food ingredients business.

Nitrogen Production
Pretax earnings of $16.5 million compared to pretax earnings of $23.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Lower equity income from our investment in CF Nitrogen, of which CHS has partial ownership, attributable to decreased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen.

Corporate and Other
Pretax earnings of $20.7 million compared to pretax earnings of $30.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Results primarily from lower equity income from our investments in Ardent Mills and Ventura Foods and decreased income in our financing and hedging businesses due to market-driven interest rate reductions and lower trading activity, respectively.
CHS 1st quarter balance sheet

CHS Inc. owners elect five board members during annual meeting

Portrait of newly and re-elected CHS Board Members

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Kevin Throener, Hal Clemesen, Mark Farrell, Alan Holm and Steve Riegel.

Officers of board also elected by board peers following Annual Meeting

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Newly elected to three-year terms are:

Hal Clemensen succeeds former director Randy Knecht, who retired from the CHS Board of Directors on Dec. 6. Clemensen represents Region 4, covering South Dakota, and has been the president of the board of directors of Agtegra Cooperative since its formation in 2018. He was president of the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association from 2005 until its merger with North Central Farmers Elevator in 2018. He is a past director and is an active member of the South Dakota Soybean Association and an active member of South Dakota Corn Growers. In 2015, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives named him Farmer Cooperative Director of the year. He raises corn, soybeans and wheat near Conde, South Dakota. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economic and Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University. Clemensen was appointed to the CHS Board’s Government Relations and Corporate Risk committees.

Kevin Throener succeeds former director Dennis Carlson, who retired from the board on Dec. 6, and represents Region 3, which covers North Dakota. Throener has been a director of CHS Dakota Plains Ag since 2014 and served as vice president of the Sargent County Farmers Union Board of Directors since 2007. He has also served on the Cogswell, North Dakota, Volunteer Fire Department since 1997 and was its chief from 2010 to 2018. Throener raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa and operates a feedlot and cow/calf business near Cogswell, North Dakota. Throener and his wife Ronda are first-generation farmers who built their operation from the ground up. He studied Agricultural Systems Management at North Dakota State University. He was appointed to the CHS Board’s Governance Committee and the CHS Foundation Board of Trustees.

Reelected to three-year terms are:

  • Mark Farrell, who operates a corn, soybean and wheat farm in Dane County, Wisconsin, representing Region 5.
  • Alan Holm, who operates a corn, soybean, sweet corn, peas and hay operation and has a cow-calf herd near Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, representing Region 1.
  • Steve Riegel, who raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, dryland wheat and milo near Ford, Kansas, representing Region 8.

Following the Annual Meeting, the board held its annual re-organization meeting. Each of the following board members was elected to one-year officer terms:

  • Dan Schurr, chair
  • C.J. Blew, first vice chair
  • Jon Erickson, second vice chair
  • Russ Kehl, secretary-treasurer
  • Steve Riegel, assistant secretary-treasurer

CHS Board announces fiscal 2019 equity management decisions

CHS will return $180 million in cash patronage and equity redemptions to its owners based on fiscal 2019 earnings.

Of that $180 million, $90 million will be distributed in cash patronage and $90 million will be distributed through equity redemptions.

  • Of the $90 million in equity redemptions, $63 million will be returned to member cooperatives and $27 million to individual members.
    • The $27 million in redemptions of individual producer member equity will be provided based on qualifying requests from individual members (estates and age 70+).
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