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Company News

UPDATE 2-HollyFrontier posts smaller-than-feared loss as demand picks up

(Adds details from conference call, shares)

Aug 6 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner HollyFrontier Corp posted a smaller-than-expected loss on Thursday as demand for its products picked up in the quarter due to easing of coronavirus-led travel restrictions.

Dallas, Texas-based HollyFrontier said demand for transportation fuels and lubricants stabilized and improved late in the quarter as economic activity began to pick up worldwide with easing of lockdowns.

The company’s results mirror those of bigger rivals Valero Energy, Phillips 66 and Marathon Petroleum , each of which posted smaller-than-feared losses, citing a recovery in fuel demand.

On a post earnings call with analysts, HollyFrontier said it expects current-quarter throughput to be in the range of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 370,000 bpd of crude oil, the midpoint of which is slightly above the 350,000 bpd it reported in the second quarter ended June 30.

The company, which converted a 52,000 barrels per day refinery in Cheyenne into a renewable diesel plant in June, said it plans to spend about $650 million to $750 million over the next 18 months to expand its renewables portfolio due to increasing demand for alternative fuel.

HollyFrontier expects to tap the debt market to raise capital for the expansion.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 25 cents per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of a loss of 55 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s net loss attributable to shareholders was $176.7 million, or $1.09 per share, compared with a profit of $196.9 million, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier.

HollyFrontier recorded impairment charges of $429.5 million related to its Cheyenne Refinery and Petro-Canada Lubricants business in the quarter.

Shares of the company were down about 3% at $25.19. (Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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