HollyFrontier Corp. reported fourth quarter profits of $391.6 million or $1.92 per diluted share, up 75 percent from the $223.4 million in fourth quarter of 2011.
For all of 2012, HollyFrontier had profits of $1.7 billion, compared to $1.0 billion for 2011.
HollyFrontier, based in Dallas, owns the refinery in El Dorado, which has the capacity for 135,000 barrels of oil per day. HollyFrontier sells its products principally in the western half of the country.
President and CEO Mike Jennings said in a statement that he was pleased with the results. Buying crude oil at lower prices from producers in the central U.S. and Canada and selling it at relatively high national prices contributed to strong refineries margins, which was key to offsetting the quarter’s weaker seasonal demand.
“Looking to 2013, we believe that the structural crude advantages currently driving our operating margins will positively impact our operating income, allowing us to continue to pay both regular and special dividends. We remain committed to increasing total shareholder return while maintaining a strong balance sheet.,” he said in the statement.
Refinery gross margins in the fourth quarter were $24 per produced barrel, a 57 percent increase over the $15.32 for the fourth quarter of 2011. Companywide production levels averaged 447,000 barrels per day.
Operating expenses for the quarter were $296.8 million or $6.29 per barrel, compared to $246.1 million or $5.22 per barrel for the fourth quarter of 2011.