Calumet Specialty takes loss after refinery slowdown

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP suffered a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss, partly due to a 30-day slowdown for maintenance at its refinery in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Indianapolis-based fuel-products producer on Wednesday said it lost $8.3 million, or 17 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a gain of $7.8 million, or 5 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts had expected a gain of 18 cents per share.

Revenue of $1.43 billion was up from $1.35 billion in the same quarter of 2013 and matched analyst predictions.

Calumet shares fell 3.2 percent Wednesday after the earnings announcement, to close at $29.78 per share.

"Our second quarter results were severely challenged by several factors, including approximately 30 days of extended, planned maintenance at our Shreveport refinery, in addition to less favorable fuels-refining economics, when compared to the prior-year period," CEO Bill Grube said in a prepared statement.  "The extended turnaround at Shreveport, which included multiple plant optimization and reliability improvement projects, reached completion in early June.  We are currently operating the refinery at elevated rates during the third quarter 2014."

Calumet’s Specialty Products segment generated gross profit of $32.67 per barrel during the second quarter, compared with $35.49 per barrel in the second quarter of 2013.

The Fuel Products segment generated a gross loss of 69 cents per barrel during the quarter versus gross profit of $1.69 per barrel last year.

Calumet had a busy quarter, acquiring Houston-based Specialty Oilfield Solutions Ltd. for $30 million; extending and amending its credit agreement; and entering into a joint venture with Juniper GTL to build a commercial gas-to-liquids plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The company also joined the Fortune 500 list, Fortune announced during the quarter. With annual sales of more than $5 billion in 2013, Calumet entered the list at No. 467.

Calumet shares slipped 19 cents Thursday morning, to $29.59 each.

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