* Q1 adj loss $0.91/shr vs est loss $0.95/shr
* Q1 rev $579.3 mln vs $613.2 mln * Sees Krotz Springs refinery opening in May
May 6 (Reuters) - Independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products Alon USA Energy Inc ALJ.N reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss, partly helped by retail fuel sales.
The company, whose Krotz Springs refinery has been shut down since November 2009, said the facility is expected to be back in full operation in the second half of May. Net loss for the first quarter was $52.9 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with net income of $17.4 million, or 37 cents a share a year ago. Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 91 cents a share.
Net sales were down 20 percent at $579.3 million. Analysts on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 95 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $613.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Retail fuel sales increased by 16 percent to 32.7 million gallons while branded fuel sales increased by 6 percent to 70.5 million gallons in the first quarter.
Shares of the company closed at $6.80 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)