Delek paying another special dividend

Refiner and retailer also pays off debt tab from 2011 acquisition

For the fourth time in a year, Delek US Holdings will pay a special dividend to investors.

The payout of 10 cents per share will be made in late October and will lift to about $27 million the total Delek has paid in the special dividend since last November. The Brentwood-based parent of Mapco Express, as well as refineries in Texas and Arkansas, also said it has paid down almost $40 million of debt, most of it stemming from its 2011 acquisition of Lion Oil.

"Our business and cash flow generation remains very strong. This presents us with opportunities to improve our financial flexibility and better position the Company for long-term success,” said President and CEO Uzi Yemin. “We look forward to leveraging our strong free cash flow further and expect to re-evaluate our regular dividend policy by the end of this year.”

The last part of that statement suggesting a dividend hike would come as no surprise to analyst Paul Cheng at Deutsche Bank. Cheng last month said he expects Delek's board to hike its payout to 20 cents per year.

Shares of Delek (Ticker: DK) were up more than 4 percent at around 10:50 a.m. to almost $26. They started the year under $11.50.