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    Energy Companies Anticipate Lower Earnings

    Lower prices for crude oil, natural gas, crop nutrients hurt profits at Chevron, CHS Inc.; Alon USA delays 10-K filing.

    NEW YORK -- In an interim update on its first quarter 2009 results, Chevron Corp. reported earnings are expected to be sharply lower compared with the fourth quarter 2008. The company said upstream earnings are expected to decline substantially, in part due to lower prices for crude oil and natural gas. Downstream earnings are also anticipated to be much lower than in the previous period, with average margins on the sale of refined products off significantly, according to the San Ramon, Calif.-based oil company.

    Meanwhile, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.-based energy, grains and foods company, CHS Inc., reported earnings declined by more than 50 percent to $219.5 million for the first half of its 2009 fiscal year. That compares to earnings of $468.9 for the first six months of 2008. Revenues were also down, 3.7 percent, to $12.9 billion, compared with $13.4 billion for the comparable period the previous year. The company said revenues for fiscal 2009 reflected lower values for many of the grain, refined fuels and crop nutrients products CHS markets.

    The results were adversely impacted by the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of VeraSun Energy Corp., an ethanol manufacturer the company owned.

    Dallas-based Alon USA Energy announced the filing of its 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be delayed beyond the March 31, 2009, due date.

    Alon previously filed a Notification of Late Filing on March 17, 2009, stating its intention to file its 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K with the SEC by March 31, 2009, due to its evaluation of the effects of adjustments to non-recourse indebtedness of its subsidiary, Alon Refining Krotz Springs Inc., and additional investments in such subsidiary by Alon's parent company on Alon's audited consolidated financial statements. Alon believes it substantially completed its evaluation of these arrangements and currently intends to file its 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K within the next 10 days.

    Alon USA Energy Inc. is an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the south central, southwestern and western regions of the United States. The company owns four crude oil refineries in Texas, California, Louisiana and Oregon, with an aggregate crude oil throughput capacity of approximately 250,000 barrels per day. Alon markets gasoline and diesel products under the FINA brand name and is a leading producer of asphalt. Alon also operates more than 300 convenience stores primarily in West Texas and New Mexico, substantially under the 7-Eleven and FINA brand names, and supplies motor fuels to these stores primarily from its Big Spring refinery. In addition, Alon markets under the FINA branded name to approximately 700 additional locations.

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