The Andersons Expects to Exceed Current 2002 Earnings Estimates

PRNewswire-FirstCall
MAUMEE, Ohio
Dec 10, 2002

The Andersons, Inc., an Ohio-based agribusiness/retailer, anticipates 2002 profit will exceed Wall Street's current estimates. Thanks to earnings improvements in all four business units, the company is estimating 2002 fully diluted earnings per share to be in the $1.50 to $1.65 range. The company previously put the EPS estimate in the $1.31 to $1.41 range during the 2002 third-quarter conference call. The new range is a result of a number of market dynamics and efficiencies:

  * Grain sales and margins have been stronger than expected, in spite of
    the 2002 reduced grain production in the Eastern Corn Belt
  * Higher grain prices and excellent weather conditions have increased the
    fall demand for plant nutrients
  * The Rail Group's car utilization rate continues to improve, as do orders
    in its fabrication unit
  * Lawn and turf fertilizer shipments have been stronger than we expected
    during the fall season
  * Retail sales are holding up despite the lackluster economy
  * Improved operating efficiencies
  * Cash flow has been strong and net capital spending has been below annual
    depreciation

Mike Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "We anticipate that 2002 could be a record setter for The Andersons. A portion of the increase in this year's earnings estimate is a result of acceleration of grain sales that we typically hold in inventory and sell the following year. Fortunately, a significant portion of the increase is coming from year-end performance improvements." Anderson added that he is proud that the employees have pulled together to make 2002 a very profitable year. "The economy has been a concern for some time. Our people have done a great job keeping a lid on expenses," Anderson said.

The company said it expects 2003 earnings to be more in line with historical averages. "The most recent four-year average of our earnings, provides a reasonable guideline of $1.15 to $1.30 fully diluted earnings per share for the coming year," explained Anderson. "We have often noted that our business is cyclical given our heavy investment in agribusiness. However, we expect to hold on to the efficiency gains we have achieved in 2002." The company will update the 2003 estimates at their quarterly earnings conference calls.

This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Without limitation, these risks include economic, weather and regulatory conditions, competition, and the risk factors set forth from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About The Andersons, Inc.

The Andersons, Inc., is a regional grain merchandiser with diversified businesses in agriculture, fertilizer distribution, turf product production, railcar marketing and general merchandise retailing that generate revenues of approximately $1 billion per year. Founded in 1947, the company maintains grain and production facilities throughout the Midwest and six retail locations in northern and central Ohio. The Andersons' corporate headquarters is located in Maumee, Ohio. Additional information is available online at www.andersonsinc.com .

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SOURCE: The Andersons, Inc.

CONTACT: Gary Smith, Vice President, Finance and Treasurer of The
Andersons, Inc., +1-419-891-6417, or gary_smith@andersonsinc.com


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