Profits Up for Afton, Down for Quaker Chem, Steady for Valvoline


Afton Chemical‘s petroleum additives segment posted higher operating profit, while Quaker Chemical and HollyFrontier‘s lubricants segment recorded weaker financial results for the quarter ended June 30. Valvoline‘s performance was level with the same period of 2018, while Clean Harbors’ Safety-Kleen segment had higher revenues.

Afton Chemical

Afton Chemical, the petroleum additives segment of NewMarket Corp., reported operating profit of $102.9 million for its second quarter, a 44 percent increase from $71.5 million the year before.

Sales for the segment hit $560.8 million, down more than 6 percent from $596.2 million.

The increase was due to changes in selling prices and lower raw material and conversion costs, partially offset by lower shipments, the Richmond, Virginia-based company said in its earnings report. Shipments were down 8.4 percent from the same period last year,” due in part to decreases in lubricant additives shipments in Europe and Latin America.

NewMarket reported net income of $74.1 million for the quarter, or $6.63 per diluted share, up over 40 percent from $52.8 million in net income or $4.53 per diluted share.

Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors’ Safety-Kleen segment – which includes oil rerefining – reported third-party revenues of $342.1 million for the quarter ending June 30, up just over 4 percent from the same period last year. Third-party revenues include sales of base oil, blended products and reclaimed fuel oil and a small amount of byproducts.

“Revenue increased 4 percent through growth in a majority of our core branch offerings, pricing initiatives and higher production levels at our re-refineries,” Clean Harbors Chairman, CEO and President Alan McKim said. “Waste oil collection remained strong at 63 million gallons, and we achieved an average charge-for-oil basis for those volumes.”

Clean Harbors claims that, through its Safety-Kleen segment, it is North America’s largest rerefiner and recycler of used oil. The head of the Norwell, Massachusetts-based company is optimistic about the segments outlook.

“Within Safety-Kleen, our branch network remains a reliable source of steady growth in its core offerings,” McKim said in Clean Harbors’ earnings news release. “In the second quarter, Safety-Kleen Oil rebounded from a challenging start to the year, and we expect that momentum to continue in the back half of 2019. Our rerefineries are running well and are on track to achieve our targeted base oil production of more than 150 million gallons this year. In light of the potential positive impact of IMO 2020, we plan to have our plants running at record output levels by year-end.” Part of a broader United Nations effort to reduce pollution from ships, the International Maritime Organizations IMO 2020 will reduce sulfur limits on marine fuels for most coastal and international waters from 3.5 percent by weight to 0.5 percent.

Quaker Chemical

Quaker Chemical reported net income of $15.6 million in its second quarter ending June 30, a 19 percent decrease from the prior year.

Net sales for the Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based lubricant supplier reached $205.8 million, down from $221.9 million in the year-earlier period, an almost 8 percent decline. Quaker said its net sales were negatively impacted by foreign currency translation and lower volumes resulting from end-market conditions.

The company completed a merger with Houghton International on Aug. 1, forming the new Quaker Houghton. In its earnings release, Quaker Chemical said it acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Houghton from Gulf Houghton Lubricants, Ltd. The final purchase consisted of approximately $170.8 million in cash; the issuance of approximately 4.3 million shares of common stock of Quaker Chemical with par value of $1.00, comprising 24.5 percent of the common stock of Quaker at closing; and Quakers refinancing of approximately $660 million of Houghton’s net indebtedness at closing, not including cash proceeds from the divestiture.

Houghton’s operations were not included in Quaker’s second quarter earnings results.


Dallas, Texas-based HollyFrontier Corp.’s lubricants and specialty products suffered a loss of over $146.9 million in income from operations in the second quarter, a steep decline from $29.3 million in income from operations in the year-earlier period. Revenues from external customers totaled $545.3 million in the second quarter, up more than 18 percent from $459.4 million in the same quarter last year.

HollyFrontier acquired Parsippany, New Jersey-based Sonneborn for $665 million in November of last year.

The lubricants and specialty products segment includes Petro-Canada Lubricants and its Mississauga, Ontario, refinery, which makes products such as base oils, white oils, specialty products and finished lubricants, along with specialty lubricants from HollyFrontier’s Tulsa refineries. Recently acquired companies Red Giant Oil Co. and Sonneborn are now also part of the company’s lubricants and specialty products segment.


Valvoline’s three operating segments – Core North America, quick lubes and international – saw a combined operating income of $102 million, unchanged from 2018. The quarter ending June 30 is the third quarter of Valvoline’s fiscal year.

The Lexington, Kentucky-based company’s three segments combined for $613 million in sales, up over 6 percent from last year. The Core North America segment accounted for the largest portion of those sales with $260 million, or approximately 42.4 percent of sales, followed by quick lubes with $211 million – 34.4 percent – and international at $142 million, or the remaining 23.1 percent.

North American lubricants sales amounted to 24.1 million gallons, down over 5 percent from 25.5 million gallons the previous year. The company said the decline was due to reductions in branded volume in the retail channel.

Quick-lube lubricants sales reached 7.2 million gallons, up from 6.2, a 16 percent increase.

International lubricants sales remained unchanged at 14.3 million gallons.

“Quick Lubes had another strong quarter, with ongoing unit additions and system-wide same-store sales growth of nearly 10 percent, while Core North America saw improved third-quarter performance, despite market dynamics that remain challenging, and International had improved profitability,” Valvoline CEO Sam Mitchell said in the company’s earnings release.