Higher product prices lifted Pacific Ethanol Inc. to a profit in the second quarter.
The Sacramento-based ethanol producer said Wednesday it earned $736,000 in the quarter, compared with a $2.9 million loss a year earlier. The per-share profit was 7 cents, vs. a 51-cent loss last year.
Revenue grew to $233.8 million from $205.4 million.
The company cited a stronger climate for ethanol, a fuel additive derived from corn. Ethanol prices were about 20 percent higher in the second quarter compared to a year ago, helping ease a multi-year slump that has gripped much of the industry.
"These improvements were driven by better market conditions, more favorable ethanol pricing, our continued focus on operating efficiencies and our increased plant ownership position," said President and Chief Executive Neil Koehler in a prepared statement.
Pacific Ethanol has been slowly recovering from a 2009 bankruptcy that cost the company control of its four production plants. It has been gradually buying back the equity in the plants, and now owns 80 percent.
The company's stock closed at $4.45, up 32 cents, on the Nasdaq Capital Market. That market is reserved for companies with small capitalizations.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.