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Momentum

The Andersons, Inc. (ANDE - Analyst Report) just spiked to a new multi-year high after reporting awesome Q4 results that handily beat expectations. With the grain and agriculture story gaining momentum, this Zacks #1 rank stock looks like a serious player.

Company Description

The Andersons, Inc. operates primarily as an agriculture company in the United States. The company also operates rail transportation and crop protection businesses. The Anderson's has been around since 1947 and has a market cap of $650 million.

We got an update on the Anderson's business on Feb 9 when the company reported strong Q4 results that came in well ahead of expectations.

Fourth-Quarter Results

Revenue for the period was up 31% from last year to $1.2 billion. Earnings also came in strong at $1.39, blowing past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 91 cents.

The strong performance was led by the Anderson's Grain and Ethanol division, where higher grain prices and increased volume led to record income.

The Plant Nutrient group was also solid, with full-year income climbing to $30 million from $11 million last year. The Rail Group was also on the upswing, with operating income jumping to $100,000 from a loss of $1 million last year.

So when you add up the gains in each individual segment, it's easy to see why The Anderson's produced a quarter that was well ahead of expectations.

Financial Profile

Although the Anderson's cash and equivalents fell $108 million to $41 million, its total debt was also down, falling $42 million to $277 million.

Esitmates

We saw some decent movement in estimates off the good quarter, with the current year adding 16 cents to $3.59.

Valuation

But in spite of the gains, the valuation picture is still solid, with its forward P/E of 13X directly in line with its peers.

6-Month Chart

On the chart, ANDE spiked higher on the good quarter, with shares hitting a new multi-year high at $46.86. Look for support from the long-term trend on any weakness. Take a look below.

Michael Vodicka is the Momentum Stock Strategist for Zacks.com. He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Momentum Trader Service.