Sunoco Swings To 2Q Loss On Write-Down As Refining Operations Weaken

Date : 08/04/2011 @ 4:57PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Honeywell International Inc. (HON)
Quote : 130.12  0.02 (0.02%) @ 10:29AM

Sunoco Swings To 2Q Loss On Write-Down As Refining Operations Weaken

Sunoco LP (NYSE:SUN)
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Sunoco Inc. (SUN) swung to a second-quarter loss amid weak refining revenue and a large write-down from the sale of its Philadelphia chemicals plant.

Shares still rose 2.5% to $36.80 after-hours after the company reported much better-than-expected revenue. The stock was off 11% this year through Thursday's broad sell-off.

Most U.S. refiners have posted improving earnings this year as a widening price spread between two types of crude oil helps boost industry margins. Sunoco missed out on the windfall in the first quarter, however, after widespread refinery outages.

Sunoco in July closed the sale of its phenol and acetone manufacturing plant in Philadelphia to an affiliate of Honeywell International Inc. (HON), forcing the company to set aside $118 million to write down the facility's assets.

The independent refiner also finished its spinoff of SunCoke Energy, the biggest independent producer of a raw material for steelmaking. Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services both pushed Sunoco's credit ratings into junk territory after the split, saying the spinoff removed one of the company's more stable segments.

Sunoco posted a loss of $125 million, or $1.03 a share, compared with a prior-year profit of $145 million, or $1.20 a share. Excluding the write-down provision and other items, the company posted a 40-cent profit, down from last year's $1.31 a share. Revenue rose 25% to $12.02 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a 47-cent per-share profit and revenue of $8.75 billion.

Sunoco's core refining and supply business swung to a loss in the latest quarter on lower realized margins and decreased production volumes, though the unit's crude utilization rate climbed to 84% from 74%.

Earnings in Sunoco's retail business fell 5.5% absent a favorable litigation settlement from last year as higher credit-card fees hurt profit.

Earnings jumped 80% in the logistics business on expanded crude oil volumes and revenue from recent acquisitions.

-By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com




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