Pacific Ethanol Earnings Surprise

Pacific Ethanol Earnings Surprise

Shares of Pacific Ethanol Inc. shot up as much as 46 percent after the ethanol producer’s first-quarter results, adjusted to exclude a charge, surpassed analysts’ expectations.

For the three months ended March 31, Pacific Ethanol lost $35.2 million, or 90 cents per share, compared with earnings of $3 million, or 5 cents per share, a year ago.

But excluding a one-time impairment charge of 96 cents, the company posted an adjusted first-quarter profit of 6 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected, on average, a loss of 9 cents per share. Those estimates typically do not count one-time charges and gains.

“It appears Pacific was able to overcome lower average ethanol prices and higher corn costs to modestly improve its year-over-year results excluding one-time items,” Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Joseph Gomes Jr. said in a note to investors.

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