CHS: Earnings, Investments, and Global Strategy Poition Coop For Long-Term Success
Date Posted: December 6, 2012
Minneapolis—Consistent strong financial performance, coupled with strategic domestic and global investments, have positioned CHS (NASDAQ: CHSCP) producer and co-op owners for long-term growth, leaders of the nation's largest cooperative reported at its annual meeting Dec. 6.
"When it comes to the producers and cooperatives who own us, and the customers we serve around the world, we must not only invest in the future, but make sure we provide relevant options for doing business with us," said Carl Casale, CHS president and chief executive officer.
"In the last two years we've made three dozen major news announcements on investments and acquisitions on our owners' behalf that strengthen our presence at home and round the world in energy, grains, processing and food ingredients."
Casale and other leaders reported on 2012 results to more than 2,200 of the cooperative's owners and other guests at its annual meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
In November, CHS reported record net income of $1.26 billion for fiscal 2012 (Sept. 1, 2011 – Aug. 31, 2012) on revenues of $40.6 billion, setting a new mark for U.S. agriculture cooperatives.
During fiscal 2013, CHS will return an estimated $600 million of its fiscal 2012 earnings to its owners in cash.
"When other forms of business achieve this level of profit, the benefits are shared by those who may not have a direct relationship with the company beyond its earnings," said Jerry Hasnedl, CHS Board chairman and a St. Hilaire, Minn., farmer.
"But this business not only provides its owners with energy, crop inputs, grain marketing and more, it delivers a direct return that helps farmers, ranchers and local cooperatives invest in their own growth."
CHS Chief Financial Officer David Kastelic reported that in 2012 CHS "made key investments in current business operations and in new ventures that will drive long-term success while maintaining a healthy balance sheet that will allow the company to continue investing in the future."
Among those attending were more than 300 young farmers and ranchers who participated in the CHS New Leaders Forum which included a focus on trends in precision agriculture.
Highlights for fiscal 2012 included:
• Plans to acquire sole ownership of the McPherson, Kan., refinery in which it has long been majority owner. The facility also is the site of a $555 million coker project. CHS also continues to invest in its Laurel, Mont., refinery, as well as strengthening refined fuels supply and distribution in the northern tier of the U.S. and growing its propane, lubricants and renewable fuels businesses.
• Expanded global commodities presence with new offices in South Korea, Singapore and Paraguay, along with grain origination and export acquisitions and joint ventures in the Black Sea region and South America. Strengthened U.S. grain exports through expansion of and investments in its TEMCO joint venture in the Pacific Northwest and establishment of a Port of Houston, Texas, grain through-put agreement.
• Proposed construction of the first CHS nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing facility, planned for Spiritwood, N.D., and an investment in a Texas clean fuels project that includes sole access to 700,000 tons of urea.
• Acquisition of an Israel-based soy foods and food ingredients business with two locations in that country, one in China and one in Nebraska. CHS also acquired a Creston, Iowa, soybean crushing plant focused on soy flour to supply the company's existing soy protein foods business.
• Stronger cooperative system alignment as five co-ops and a Canadian firm chose to join the CHS Country Operations retail business unit and CHS partnered with several local co-ops on a variety of grain, crop nutrients and energy projects.
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