Sacramento's Pacific Ethanol Inc., which is trying to bring its production plants out of bankruptcy, reported a huge fourth-quarter loss. But the numbers indicated the company made some progress.
In results released late Wednesday, the company said it lost $245.6 million in the quarter, but that was largely driven by a $250.2 million non-cash loss to reflect a write-down of its bankrupt production plants.
Otherwise, the company reported a "gross profit" of $1.4 million, vs. a loss of $29.2 million a year earlier. The progress came even though sales fell in almost in half, to $87.9 million from $160.4 million.
Pacific Ethanol put its four company-owned plants into Chapter 11 bankruptcy last spring after the bottom dropped out of the ethanol market.
Earlier this week, it released a reorganization plan that would surrender ownership of the plants to lenders. The company would retain plant-management and marketing contracts, and would keep a share of the profits from the facilities.
Shareholders responded negatively to the plan, driving the stock price down. But they welcomed the earnings report. The company's stock rose 29 cents to $1.40 in morning Nasdaq trading.