Holly Corp.: Refining Margins Rebound

Feb. 19, 2009
Support from non-refining businesses keeps this oil refiner profitable as crude prices drop.

Oil refiner Holly Corp. ended the year strong as refining margins rose after a sluggish first half. The 2008 IW 50 Best Manufacturer said Feb. 17 that fourth-quarter profit increased to $50.6 million, or $1.01 a share, compared with $49.8 million, or 90 cents a share, during the year-earlier period.

The increase in fourth-quarter profit was primarily from a rise in gross refining margins, which reached $12.01 per produced barrel -- a 22% increase over $9.83 reported in fourth-quarter 2007.

Holly Corp.
At A Glance

Holly Corp.
Dallas, Texas
Primary Industry: Petroleum & Coal Products
Number of Employees: 909
2007 In Review
Revenue: $4.79 billion
Profit Margin: 6.97%
Sales Turnover: 2.88
Inventory Turnover: 29.62
Revenue Growth: 19.10%
Return On Assets: 26.99%
Return On Equity: 71.87%
"After a very challenging first half of 2008, our third- and fourth-quarter results reached more acceptable levels," said Matthew Clifton, chairman and CEO of Holly, in a statement.

Clifton added that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reached $103.7 million, an increase of 27% over the same period last year. Gross refining margins improved on the strength of the company's Navajo refinery in Artesia, N.M., which realized a 37% increase in margins over the year-earlier period.

"This margin improvement was due to strong gasoline crack spreads in October 2008, combined with wide diesel crack spreads during the quarter and the nontransportation product crack spreads were at the best levels of 2008," Clifton said.

The company is on schedule to complete an expansion of the Navajo refinery in the first quarter of 2009, according to Clifton. The upgrades are expected to increase its crude capacity to 100,000 barrels per day, an 18% increase.

For the year, net income was $120.6 million, or $2.38 a share, down from $334.1 million, or $6.09 per share in 2007.

Overall refinery production levels increased slightly for the fourth quarter to 119,010 barrels per day while annual production declined 2%.

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