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    Hess' C-store Sales Decline in First Quarter

    Profit margins also fall at the petroleum company's retail operation.

    By Brian Berk, Convenience Store News

    NEW YORK -- Sales at Hess Corp.'s convenience store division dropped by 2 percent during its 2012 fiscal first quarter vs. the same timeframe in 2011.

    During an earnings conference call this morning, Hess also reported that its retail operation profit margins dropped in the latest quarter.

    Hess' total refining and marketing earnings reached $11 million in the first quarter, compared to $39 million in its 2011 fiscal first quarter.

    For the entire company, Hess also saw earnings decline. The company earned $545 million during its 2012 first quarter, compared to a profit of $929 million a year ago. Hess Chairman and CEO John Hess cited higher production costs and weaker refining margins in the latest quarter for the lower profit.

    Total revenue for Hess' latest quarter equaled $9.75 billion, a drop of 7.3 percent vs. 2011's first quarter. However, the $9.75-billion figure beat analysts' expectations of $9.42 billion.

    As of March 31, Hess said it had $396 million in cash and cash equivalents, as well as $6.97 billion in debt.

    Despite lower profit figures compared to last year, the chief executive said he expects company growth and margins to increase during future quarters.

    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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