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    ConocoPhillips' Phillips 66 Spinoff Could Take Place in May

    Petroleum giant reports higher than expected Q4 2011 earnings.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    HOUSTON -- For the first time, ConocoPhillips provided a more specific timeframe for the spinoff of its new downstream business, Phillips 66, which will become parent of the company's convenience stores. During a conference call this morning, Jeffrey Sheets, ConocoPhillips' CFO and senior vice president of finance, said the spinoff could come as early as May. He added that the transaction is "progressing well" and he sees no major hurdles that would prevent an on-time spinoff.

    Previously, ConocoPhillips only said it expected the spinoff to take place in the second quarter of 2012.

    Also announced this morning was that Phillips 66 will trade under the New York Stock Exchange symbol, PSX.

    As for its fiscal 2011 Q4 earnings, ConocoPhillips earned $3.4 billion, compared to $2.04 billion during its 2010 Q4. Higher oil prices and asset sales were cited as the two main drivers for the quarter, which exceeded Wall Street analysts' expectations.

    "We operated well during the fourth quarter," said Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips' chairman and CEO. "Production and refinery utilization met expectations. For the year, we replaced 120 percent of our 2011 production with organic reserves across our asset base. We continued to execute our 2010-12 repositioning plan, including $4.8 billion of asset sales and $11.1 billion of share repurchases during the year."

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News
    • About Brian Berk Brian Berk is managing editor of Stagnito Business Information's Convenience Store News and Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner, where he specializes in covering motor fuels, technology and financial news. He has served the magazine industry for 14 years and has also worked in the radio and newspaper fields. Berk holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the State University of New York at Cortland and a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.

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