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DALLAS -- Alon USA Energy Inc. announced net income for the three months ending Sept. 30, 2005 increased to $24.4 million compared to net income of $6.1 million a year ago. Third-quarter earnings per share were 57 cents compared to 17 cents for the comparable quarter last year.
Net income for the three months ending Sept. 30, 2005 included $5 million of after-tax gain recognized on disposition of assets ("after-tax gain") relating to the contribution of certain pipeline and terminal assets to Holly Energy Partners L.P. in the first quarter of this year. The amount of after-tax gain recognized was $4.2 million greater than planned due to the acceleration of a portion of the deferred gain relating to the HEP transaction. Net income for the three months ending Sept. 30, 2005 excluding the effects of the accelerated deferred gain would have been $20.2 million, or 47 cents per share, in line with Alon's previously announced third-quarter earnings-per-share estimates.
Net income for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2005 was $74.3 million, or $1.98 per share, compared to net income of $22.9 million, or 65 cents per share for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2004, an increase of $51.4 million. Excluding the accelerated $4.2 million of after- tax gain recognized in the third quarter, net income for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2005 would have been $70.1 million, or $1.86 per share.
Jeff Morris, Alon's president and CEO, said, "In the third quarter, we were unexpectedly required to accelerate a reformer catalyst regeneration as previously disclosed on Sept. 22, 2005. Now that this regeneration has been completed and the appropriate upgrades are being designed, we expect to avoid the regeneration previously scheduled in January 2006 and to combine our next regeneration with our scheduled low sulfur fuel upgrade planned for April 2006. Operations are back to normal and we have returned to the consistent performance to which we have become accustomed."
Morris continued, "Turning to the fourth quarter, we ran well in October, decreased our inventories and improved our cash position. We expect our cash balance to be further enhanced in the fourth quarter as we convert approximately 300,000 barrels of unfinished product to finished gasoline and diesel. Sweet/sour spreads in October increased over third quarter levels and refining margins remained strong even as Gulf Coast refineries came back on line. Thus, we believe we are on schedule to reduce inventories and increase our cash balances back to planned levels by year end."
During the remainder of 2005, the company expects to complete an incremental expansion of their jet fuel hydrotreater from 4,000 barrels per day to 5,000 barrels per day, without impacting throughput at the Big Spring refinery. They also plan to begin investments in our asphalt facilities in Big Spring and in Bakersfield, Calif. to grow their premium asphalt business.
"The year 2005 will be a record year for asphalt sales for us, as we sold out our entire Big Spring production of 150,000 tons and our Bakersfield facility will triple last year's sales volumes," Morris said. "These results further evidence the quality of our asphalt business."