Valero Energy posts 3Q profit, reverses loss

AP News
Posted: Oct 26, 2010 5:18 PM
Valero Energy posts 3Q profit, reverses loss

Valero Energy Corp. said Tuesday it posted a third-quarter profit, reversing a loss in the same period last year, thanks to a double-digit boost in revenue.

America's largest independent oil refiner earned $292 million, or 51 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with a loss of $629 million, or $1.12 per share, in the same period last year.

Revenue increased 20 percent to $22.21 billion from $18.57 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings of 48 cents per share on revenue of $20.19 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The company said operating profits increased $2.79 per barrel year-over-year, due to higher margins for diesel fuel and higher production volumes.

This is the second consecutive quarter of profits for the San Antonio refiner. Before that, Valero had posted losses for the four consecutive quarters.

Bill Klesse, Valero chairman and CEO, said profit margins continue to be strong in the fourth quarter and noted that inventories of distillate fuels were falling in the U.S. and Europe as winter approaches, which means the company could continue to see strong demand.

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"We're well-positioned to capture these attractive margins as we have very little maintenance-related downtime planned at our refineries during the fourth quarter," Klesse in a statement.

Klesse added that Valero expects to complete the sale of its Paulsboro refinery and its stake in the Cameron Highway Oil Pipeline System in the fourth quarter. Its Aruba refinery should come online in the middle of December.

Shares of Valero Energy rose 23 cents to $18.