Phillips 66 Earnings Hit by Higher Crude Prices

Gasoline pump
Gasoline pump

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) reported second-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The oil refiner posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.50. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $2.23. This morning's results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.83 and $41.57 billion in revenues. Phillips 66 did not include revenues in its press release

On a GAAP basis, the company posted first-quarter EPS of $1.53, which excludes a one-time gain of $23 million on the sale of assets.

Phillips 66 did not provide guidance in its earnings release, but the consensus estimates for the third quarter call for EPS of $1.80 on revenues of $39.74 billion. For the full-year the consensus estimate calls for EPS of $7.32 on revenues of $175.44 billion.

The company's CEO said:

Earnings declined from the previous quarter mostly as a result of the significant reduction in advantaged crude discounts and unplanned downtime in Chemicals and Refining. The company's strategy remains unchanged. We will continue to enhance refining returns through increasing use of advantaged crudes while growing our higher-valued businesses.

Does this mean that the party's over for refiners? As more of crude produced in North Dakota and the northern plains finds its way to big markets on the East, West and Gulf coasts, the price of West Texas Intermediate rises, eliminating the "advantaged crude discounts" that Phillips 66 and the other refiners have enjoyed for a couple of years now.

But refiners may get some help pretty soon now. Crude and gasoline stockpiles are at very high levels, and at some point the market will be forced to clear that inventory. The June 2014 crude futures contract is nearly $10 lower than the September contract. As trader sell off these shorter term contracts, prices will have to fall or exports of gasoline will have to rise, or both. Either way, refiners will get some of their mojo back.

Phillips 66's adjusted refining division income totaled $481 million for the second quarter, barely more than half its income in the second quarter of 2012. The company was able once again to source 68% of its crude feedstock for lower-cost Canadian and shale crude. The problem was in sales of refined products, when price differentials tightened in every region.

The company completed its spin-off of Phillips 66 Partners L.P. (NYSE: PSXP), which raised more than $300 million net proceeds.

Phillips 66's shares are down 1.7% in premarket trading, at $58.47 in a 52-week range of $37.78 to $70.52. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $71.70 before today's report.

Filed under: Commodities & Metals Tagged: PSX, PSXP

Originally published