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Fourth-quarter earnings improve at Calumet

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Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP on Wednesday morning reported a 16-percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings and said it would raise its dividend by a penny.

Calumet had profit of $9.5 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from $8.2 million in the same quarter of 2009. Quarterly sales rose from $495.9 million to $596.2 million.

Profit for the full year was $16.7 million, compared with $61.8 million in 2009. The company said it suffered derivative losses of $15.8 million in 2010 compared to gains of $23.7 million in 2009. Full-year sales rose from $1.8 billion in 2099 to $2.2 billion in 2010.

The Indianapolis-based company makes custom lubricants, waxes and solvents. It has a refinery in Shreveport, La., and also sells traditional fuel products.

Calumet's growth last year was in specialty products, which saw higher production volume and gross profit in the third and fourth quarters, CEO Bill Grube said in a prepared statement. Production levels of specialty products reached the highest point in the company's history for any fourth quarter, he said.

Calumet will raise its dividend by a penny, to 47 cents per share, as a result of the 2010 improvements and a more positive outlook, Grube said.

Company shares rose 3 cents in morning trading, to $23.09 each.

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