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HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE: HFC) (“HollyFrontier” or the “Company”) today reported fourth quarter net income attributable to HollyFrontier stockholders of $391.6 million or $1.92 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2012, compared to $223.4 million or $1.06 per diluted share for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2012, net income attributable to HollyFrontier stockholders totaled $1,727.2 million or $8.38 per diluted share compared to $1,023.4 million or $6.42 per diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2011.
For the fourth quarter, net income attributable to our stockholders increased by $168.2 million, or 75% compared to the same period of 2011, principally reflecting higher fourth quarter refining margins. Refinery gross margins were $24.00 per produced barrel, a 57% increase compared to $15.32 for the fourth quarter of 2011. Production levels averaged approximately 447,000 barrels per day (“BPD”) and crude oil charges averaged approximately 408,000 BPD for the current quarter, compared to expected crude throughput of 424,000 BPD. Lower crude oil charges in the quarter resulted from a combination of unplanned downtime and turnaround activity extending longer than planned. Operating expenses for the quarter were $296.8 million or $6.29 per barrel compared to $246.1 million or $5.22 per barrel for the fourth quarter of last year.
HollyFrontier’s President & CEO, Mike Jennings, commented, “We are extremely pleased with our solid fourth quarter results and the record year for HollyFrontier. For the fourth quarter, strength in inland to coastal crude oil differentials continued to contribute to attractive refined product margins, particularly considering the effects of lower seasonal demand that have historically yielded tighter margins. Looking to 2013, we believe that the structural crude advantages currently driving our operating margins will positively impact our operating income, allowing us to continue to pay both regular and special dividends. We remain committed to increasing total shareholder return while maintaining a strong balance sheet.”