* 4th-quarter adj profit $0.60/shr vs est $0.56
* Revenue rises 34 percent to $3.02 bln
* 4th-quarter crude costs up
Feb 27 Western Refining Inc reported a
better-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter, helped by
higher production from its refineries, even as the cost of the
crude oil it processes rose.
The Texas-based company, which operates two refineries close
to the U.S. Gulf Coast, said production rose nearly 3 percent to
154,908 barrels per day.
Excluding one-time items, including a pretax hedging loss of
$100.6 million, the company earned 60 cents per share.
Net sales rose about 34 percent to $3.02
Analysts on average had expected Western Refining to earn 56
cents on revenue of $2.37 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Western Refining said cost of products sold soared 60
percent to $2.73 billion in the quarter, with margins per barrel
crashing 76 percent.
Western Refining operates the El Paso refinery in Texas and
Gallup refinery in New Mexico, with combined capacity of about
151,000 barrels per day, according to its website.
Refiners make more money when the price difference between
various types of crude oil is wide. When the gap narrows in the
price between West Texas Intermediate crude oil and Gulf
Coast benchmark Light Louisiana Sweet crude , as it did in
the fourth quarter, margins are squeezed.
Western Refining said it expected price difference between
various crude oil to widen in the first quarter and new
pipelines would bring cheap crude from shale fields in North
To boost margins, Western Refining bought in November a
controlling stake in Northern Tier Energy for its flagship
refinery, which is closer to North Dakota's Bakken oil field
than most U.S. refineries.
The company reported a net loss of $7.3 million, or 9 cents
per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a net
income of $207.6 million, or $1.92 per share, a year earlier.
Western Refining's shares, which have risen 15 percent in
the past year, closed at $39.17 on the New York Stock Exchange