Aventine Renewables Earnings a Pleasant Surprise

Aventine Renewables Earnings a Pleasant Surprise

Shares of ethanol maker Aventine Renewable Energy Inc. soared over 23 percent after its first-quarter revenue and adjusted net income easily beat analyst estimates.

The stock rose $1, or 23.3 percent, to $5.30 in afternoon trading.

The company swung to a first-quarter loss of $10.8 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with a gain of $14.9 million, or 35 cents per share, in the 2007quarter.

But excluding a $21.6 million noncash charge for auction-rate securities, the company’s adjusted earnings were $10.8 million, or 26 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, earnings per share of 8 cents. Those estimates usually exclude one-time charges and gains.

Revenue rose to $509.9 million from $436.7 million. Analysts expected $480 million.

“Overall, revenues, gallons sold, gross margins, (supplies, general and administrative expenses) were all better than we had expected,” Soleil analyst Ian Horowitz wrote in a client note.

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