Narrowing spreads, higher costs push Delek's Q4 into red

Refiner completes round of upgrades in Texas, Arkansas

Delek US Holdings posted a net loss of $4.7 million in the last three months of 2013, reversing a late-2012 profit of more than $64 million. Per diluted share, the company lost 8 cents.

The smaller profit included $6.8 million in after-tax items that included higher administrative costs, the slowing of sales to build inventories ahead of refinery turnaround projects and the taking of a loss on the disposal of an asset. Net revenues for the quarter slipped 11 percent to $1.94 billion but the cost of goods sold fell only 8 percent to $1.77 billion.

"We faced a range of market conditions during 2013, from a strong first half of the year to a much more challenging second half," said Chairman and CEO Uzi Yemin. "While markets have continued to change, our focus has remained on the execution of our strategy to increase flexibility as well as the continued growth of our company."

The company's core refining operations contributed $45.8 million in segment margin last quarter — check the full set of numbers here — compared to almost $150 million in late 2012, due to narrowing spreads between raw and refined products. The company's retail operations generated $7.1 million in contribution margin, down from $7.8 million the year before as higher operating costs and lower merchandise margins wiped out better fuel margins.

Yemin and his team also said they have completed turnaround work at both its Texas and Arkansas refineries. Among other things, the projects increased light crude processing capacity in Arkansas by 10,000 barrels per day and will improve efficiency.

At about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, shares of Delek (Ticker: DK) were down about 6 percent to $28.55. Volume was on pace to double the stock's daily average. Over the past three months, the stock also is down about 6 percent.