Increased expenses caused Valvoline Inc.’s operating income to dip despite a 26% jump in sales revenues for the three months ended March 31, but net income still rose thanks to a reduction in financing costs.
Meanwhile HF Sinclair reported increased income from operations for its lubricants specialties segment, profits fell at Quaker Chemical, and Calumet Specialty Products Partners increased sales of base oils and its branded lubricants segment. Sales for Clean Harbors’ Safety-Kleen segment improved and Heritage-Crystal Clean reported higher revenue for its oil business segment.
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Valvoline reported sales revenue of $886 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year, up from $701 million from the same period last year. Officials attributed the increase to strong demand and hikes in prices for its own products. Cost of sales also rose – mainly due to higher raw material prices – from $454 million to $636 million, whittling the increase in gross profit to just 1%.
The company also reported increases in selling and general and administrative expenses and in legacy and separation-related expenses, which combined to reduce operating income to $117 million, down from $131 million in the second quarter of last year. After factoring in a drop in interest and other financing expenses, net income rose 19% to $81 million.
Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Valvoline has two segments – retail services and global products.
Retail services’ operating income declined 4% to $77 million in the quarter, while segment sales grew 23% to $350 million. Retail services sales are limited to sales at company-operated stores, sales of lubricants and other products to independent franchise and Express Care operators, in addition to royalties and other fees from franchised stores. “Profitability was impacted by the current inflationary environment, increasing labor and product costs,” CEO Sam Mitchell said in Valvoline’s earnings news release. “We have executed appropriate pricing actions which will improve profitability” in the third and fourth quarters.
Global products’ operating income increased 1% to $74 million in the quarter, while segment sales rose 29% to $536 million. Lubricant sales volume for the segment increased 9% to 43.3 million gallons. The sales growth indicates continued success in price pass-through of raw material cost increases, Mitchell noted. “The volume growth we are seeing is broad-based and an indicator of continued share gains and our ability to meet customer demand despite supply chain challenges,” he added.
In May 2021, Valvoline announced it would restructure its business model starting with last year’s third quarter, renaming its quick lubes segment to retail services and consolidating its Core North America and International segments into global products. Retail services comprises Valvoline’s oil change stores in the United States and Canada, while global products focuses on sales of lubricants and other maintenance products through channels other than quick lubes.
HF Sinclair’s lubricants and specialty products segment reported that first-quarter income from operations jumped 83% to $122.1 million, rising from $66.6 million.
The segment’s revenue from external customers rose 44% to $753.6 million, up from $522 million.
The company noted that the segment’s results were driven by strong demand for finished products and pricing initiatives that outpaced rising feedstock and energy costs.
The lubricants and specialty products segment includes Petro-Canada Lubricants and its refinery in Mississauga, Ontario, which makes such products as base oils, white oils, specialty products and finished lubricants, along with specialty lubricants from HollyFrontier’s refineries in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Acquired companies Red Giant Oil Co. and Sonneborn are also part of the company’s lubricants and specialty products segment.
Dallas-based HollyFrontier announced in May 2021 its acquisition of Sinclair Oil Corp. and Sinclair Transportation Co. in a transaction valued at $1.8 billion, creating an integrated downstream petroleum and renewable fuels company to be named HF Sinclair Corp. and adding two Colorado refineries. HollyFrontier closed on the acquisition of the Sinclair businesses from The Sinclair Cos. during the first quarter and changed its company name to HF Sinclair.
Quaker Chemical – also known as Quaker Houghton – reported that net income dropped 49% to $19.8 million in the first quarter, compared with $38.6 million in the same period last year.
Net sales increased 10% to $474.2 million, compared with $429.8 million.
The company noted that “the increase in net sales was more than offset by lower gross margins primarily attributable to significant increases in raw material and other costs, compared to the prior year period.” The company explained that an increase in selling price and product mix was primarily attributable to broad-based price increases in response to ongoing and unprecedented raw material and other supply chain-related inflationary pressures.
“We delivered record net sales in the first quarter of 2022 while navigating through significant supply chain disruptions, geopolitical issues and unprecedented inflationary pressures,” Quaker CEO and President Andy Tometich commented in the release. “Our selling prices increased 17% compared to the first quarter of 2021 as we push to offset persistent cost pressures and ultimately recover our margins.”
Quaker Chemical, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, completed its merger with Houghton in August 2019, forming the new Quaker Houghton.
Calumet reported base oil and process oil sales revenue of $210 million for the quarter ended March 31, up from $131 million during the same period of 2021. Production of those products rose 45% to 10,765 barrels per day, the highest level in three years, the company said. Wax production swelled 72% to 1,519 b/d.
The company’s performance brands segment, which includes Royal Purple and Bel-Ray finished lubricants along with packaged high-performance fuels, posted sales of $73.2 million, up from $66.2 million in the first quarter of 2021. Production of those products edged up less than 1% to 1,619 b/d.
Overall Calumet reported a net loss of $95.5 million, improved from a loss of $146.1 million during the same period a year ago.
Clean Harbors, based in Norwell, Massachusetts, said its Safety-Kleen segment – which includes oil rerefining, waste oil collection and finished lubricants – reported that third-party revenues increased 47% to $228.2 million in the first quarter, compared with $155.2 million in the same period in 2021.
Although the first quarter is typically a seasonally weaker quarter for Safety-Kleen, “demand for our base oil and blended products was consistently strong in the quarter,” Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Alan S. McKim said in the company’s earnings press release. Global supply disruptions led to favorable market dynamics in the United States and substantial price increases late in the quarter, McKim added. The segment collected 53 million gallons of waste oil in the first quarter, up 13% from the same period last year.
Heritage-Crystal Clean’s oil business segment reported that revenue for the quarter ending March 26 rose 52% to $54.7 million – improving from $35.9 million – which represents a record high for the segment in a 12-week quarter. The segment includes used oil collection and rerefining activities, along with sales of recycled fuel oil. An increase in base oil price was the main driver of the increase in revenue, the company said, along with a slight increase in base oil sales volume compared to the same quarter last year.