Calumet returns to 3Q profit on higher sales

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP on Wednesday reported a profitable third quarter as sales improved and its refineries returned to full strength.

The Indianapolis-based producer of specialty hydrocarbon and fuel products said profit was $9.4 million, or 8 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compared with a loss of $34.8 million, or 54 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

The company said earnings would have been even better if it hadn’t been for $25.6 million in non-cash unrealized derivative losses in the quarter. That compared to $2.4 million in non-cash unrealized derivative gains in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose to $1.676 billion, up from from $1.506 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

The company said gross profit margins improved dramatically over a year ago in both its specialty-products segment and fuel-products segment.

A Louisiana refinery that was limited by maintenance in the second quarter also returned to full strength.

"Having concluded the turnaround cycle at our four major fuels refineries during the past two years, we do not anticipate major maintenance-related capital spending at these refineries until the 2018-2019 timeframe," Calumet CEO Bill Grube said in a written statement. “Our Shreveport refinery, which concluded planned maintenance during the second quarter 2014, operated at approximately 43,000 barrels per day during the third quarter 2014, well above historical averages.”

Calumet shares rose 5.7 percent in morning trading, to $28 each.

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