Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO, “Valero”) today reported net income from continuing operations attributable to Valero stockholders of $651 million, or $1.22 per share, for the second quarter of 2014 compared to $463 million, or $0.84 per share, for the second quarter of 2013. For all periods shown in the accompanying tables, the results of operations reflect the Aruba refinery as discontinued operations. Valero recognized $63 million in charges in the second quarter of 2014 associated with recording asset retirement and other obligations related to our Aruba refinery.
Operating income in the second quarter of 2014 was approximately $1.1 billion versus $805 million in the second quarter of 2013. The $280 million increase in operating income was due primarily to higher refining throughput volumes and wider discounts relative to Brent crude oil for sour and certain North American light crude oils. These positive drivers were partially offset by weaker gasoline and distillate margins relative to Brent crude oil in most regions and higher natural gas costs in the second quarter of 2014 versus the second quarter of 2013.
Second quarter 2014 refining throughput volumes averaged 2.7 million barrels per day, an increase of 115,000 barrels per day from the second quarter of 2013. The increase in volumes was due primarily to less turnaround activity and higher utilization rates spurred by the availability of discounted North American light crude oil on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
“Valero delivered solid financial results for the quarter despite generally weaker product margins relative to Brent crude oil,” said Valero CEO and President Joe Gorder. “We continued to execute our strategy to reduce feedstock costs by processing additional volumes of cost-advantaged North American crude oil and investing in logistics assets to deliver those feedstocks to our refineries.”
Gorder continued, “We increased North American crude oil consumption at our Quebec City refinery to 83 percent in the second quarter of 2014 from 8 percent in the second quarter of 2013, so we are progressing well toward our previously stated goal of reaching 100 percent by year-end. We also began processing Canadian bitumen through our new crude-by-rail unloading facility at our St. Charles refinery.”
Ethanol operating income in the second quarter of 2014 was $187 million compared to $95 million in the second quarter of 2013. The $92 million increase in operating income was mainly due to higher gross margin per gallon driven by lower corn costs as a result of an abundant corn crop and lower industry ethanol inventories at the start of the quarter. Partially offsetting the increase in operating income was lower production volume resulting from rail congestion in the U.S. Mid-Continent.
“Our ethanol investments have continued to be strong performers, delivering a total of $430 million in operating income for the first half of 2014,” Gorder said. “We expect our eleventh ethanol plant, the Mount Vernon facility acquired in March of this year, to begin operating and contributing to the segment’s earnings in the third quarter.”
Regarding cash flows in the second quarter of 2014, capital expenditures were $806 million, of which $240 million was for turnarounds and catalyst. Valero paid $133 million in dividends on its common stock and $228 million to purchase 4.0 million shares of its common stock. The company repaid $200 million of debt that matured in April and ended the quarter with $6.4 billion in total debt and $3.5 billion of cash and temporary cash investments, of which $382 million was held by Valero Energy Partners LP, Valero’s majority-owned midstream master limited partnership. Subsequent to the second quarter of 2014, Valero continued to return cash to stockholders by purchasing 2.0 million shares of its common stock for $104 million and by increasing the regular quarterly cash dividend from $0.25 per share to $0.275 per share for the third quarter of 2014.
Also in the second quarter of 2014, Valero announced the sale of certain logistics assets to Valero Energy Partners LP for $154 million. This transaction closed on July 1 and represents the execution of Valero’s strategy to create stockholder value via Valero Energy Partners LP.
Valero expects 2014 capital expenditures, including turnarounds and catalyst, to be $3 billion, including approximately $870 million allocated to logistics investments – most of which are expected to be eligible for drop-down into Valero Energy Partners LP in the future.
“Given the strong North American crude oil production growth, we continue to focus the majority of our strategic capital on light crude oil processing capability and logistics,” Gorder said. “We expect our refineries to benefit from access to lower cost crude oil and higher netback product export markets. Also, our commitment to stockholders is clearly shown by our continued stock purchases and yesterday’s dividend increase announcement.”
Valero’s senior management will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. ET today to discuss this earnings release and provide an update on company operations. A live broadcast of the conference call will be available on the company’s web site at www.valero.com.
Valero Energy Corporation, through its subsidiaries, is an international manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels, other petrochemical products and power. Valero subsidiaries employ approximately 10,000 people, and assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.9 million barrels per day, 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.3 billion gallons per year, a 50-megawatt wind farm, and renewable diesel production from a joint venture. Through subsidiaries, Valero owns the general partner of Valero Energy Partners LP (NYSE: VLP), a midstream master limited partnership. Approximately 7,400 outlets carry the Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock and Beacon brands in the United States and the Caribbean; Ultramar in Canada; and Texaco in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Valero is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio. Please visit www.valero.com for more information.
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Investors: John Locke, Executive Director – Investor Relations, 210-345-3077
Karen Ngo, Manager – Investor Relations, 210-345-4574
Media: Bill Day, Vice President – Media and Community Relations, 210-345-2928
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Statements contained in this release that state the company’s or management’s expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The words “believe,” “expect,” “should,” “estimates,” “intend,” and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. For more information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed or forecasted, see Valero’s annual reports on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and on Valero’s website at www.valero.com.