CHS Earnings Plummet 38%; Co. Names New CFO

CHS Earnings Plummet 38%; Co. Names New CFO

Unseasonable weather hurt CHS’ earnings, causing a smaller 2012 harvest and delayed planting this spring.

CHS, Inc., the nation’s largest co-op, announced Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings fell 38 percent, due largely to abnormal weather that delayed the spring planting of crops.

Separately, the company announced that Timothy Skidmore will take on the roles of executive vice president and chief financial officer in mid-August.

CHS, an Inver Grove Heights-based energy, grains, and foods company, said that earnings for the quarter that ended May 31 totaled $250.8 million, down from $405.1 million during the same period a year ago.

“The decline was largely attributed to delayed spring planting in many areas which affected crop inputs movement, lower grain exports resulting from a reduced 2012 U.S. harvest, and scheduled maintenance at the CHS Laurel, Montana, refinery,” the company said.

Third-quarter revenues, meanwhile, climbed about 8 percent to $11.9 billion.

The news comes after CHS reported $275.1 million in second-quarter earnings—more than three times the $78.5 million it reported for the same period during the prior year. That growth helped the co-op achieve record earnings for the first half of its fiscal year.

CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers, and cooperatives across the United States, and in February, the co-op paid out a record $600 million to its owners.

Meanwhile, the co-op said Wednesday that Skidmore—who most recently served as vice president of financial planning and analysis at New Jersey-based Campbell Soup Company—will take on his new roles at CHS on August 19. He will succeed David Kastelic, who plans to retire in early September.

“Tim brings an impressive track record of driving decisions and delivering results,” CHS President and CEO Carl Casale said in a statement. “He has deep experience in operating finance and treasury roles, and has demonstrated a strong commitment to collaboration and teamwork throughout his career.”

CHS said earlier this year that it had joined forces with food industry giants Cargill, Inc., and ConAgra Foods, Inc., and planned to combine their North American flour-milling businesses into a new multibillion-dollar joint venture called Ardent Mills. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating that plan, which would form the industry’s largest player.