Oil prices run Calumet bottom line into red

May 7, 2008

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP late yesterday reported a $3.4 million loss in its first quarter after having posted a $28.2 million profit a year earlier.

The Indianapolis company, which processes crude oil into lubricating oils, solvents and other products, blamed the result on skyrocketing oil prices. Calumet's specialty products segment was hit hard because the company wasn't able to raise prices as quickly as prices of crude oil increased.

However, Calumet said it expects greater potential to raise prices following anticipated cutbacks by competitors.

Calumet shares are up 3.6 percent, to $13.86, today.

The stock traded above $50 last year, but the company has struggled with high oil prices and cost overruns on an expansion of a Louisiana refinery. That expansion came on line this month, the company said today.

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