November 1, 2017 / 10:49 AM / a year ago

HollyFrontier profit beats on higher refining margins; shares jump

(Reuters) - U.S. oil refiner HollyFrontier Corp (HFC.N) on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, with refining margins getting a fillip from widespread disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Dallas-based HollyFrontier’s shares shot up to a 22-month high of $39.22 after the company also said it was able to record higher sales per barrel across its refineries.

Industry-wide margins for diesel and gasoline surged to more than two-year highs in early September as Harvey knocked off a fifth of the oil-refining capacity in the U.S. Gulf Coast.

HollyFrontier’s refinery gross margins surged 48 percent to $14.55 per barrel in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

“Results were a home run,” wrote Scotia Howard Weil analyst Blake Fernandez, who expects the company’s strong performance to carry over into the fourth quarter.

Net profit attributable to HollyFrontier’s shareholders more than tripled to $272 million, or $1.53 per share, in the third quarter.

The company, which mostly processes sweet crude oil, said it recorded a $111.1 million pretax gain due to an adjustment of market inventory valuation in the quarter.

Excluding items, it earned $1.07 per share. Analysts on average had estimated a profit of 89 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company’s shares were up 5.5 percent at $38.97.

Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Anil D'Silva

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