Q1 Earnings Wrap-up


Calumet Specialty Products Partners L.P. posted a much smaller first quarter net loss than it did in 2016, and its executives discussed the companys recent launch of API Group III base oil production during an earnings call with analysts. Clean Harbors Safety-Kleen segment posted an increase in third-party revenues, compared to a year earlier.


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Calumet reported a net loss of $6.2 million for the quarter ending March 31, an improvement from a $67.7 million loss in the year-earlier quarter.

We believe that our ongoing efforts to eliminate waste, reduce costs and capture increased margins across our business have begun to positively impact our financial performance, Calumet CEO Timothy Go said in its earnings news release. We remain focused on further reducing the costs of doing business, while simultaneously growing our sales volumes and creating innovative new products, all of which should help us drive greater profitability in the future.

The Indianapolis-based companys first quarter sales reached $937.4 million, up 31.5 percent from $713 million.

The company attributed the increase in total sales volumes, compared to a year earlier, primarily to increased sales volume of lubricating oils waxes and branded and packaged products as a result of improving market conditions, as well as to increased sales volume of fuel products including diesel and asphalt.

First-quarter specialty product sales volumes increased to 28,596 barrels per day, up from 25,574 b/d in the year-earlier quarter. Lubricating oils totaled 15,160 b/d, up from 13,854 a year earlier. Packaged and synthetic specialty products reached 2,721 b/d, up from 2,125 b/d. Packaged and synthetic specialty products include production at the companys Royal Purple, Bel-Ray, Calumet Packaging and Missouri facilities. Other first-quarter totals included 7,345 b/d of solvents, up from a year earlier; and 1,477 b/d of waxes, down from 2016s first quarter.

Calumet last week announced it has begun making API Group III base oil at its plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. The company since confirmed to Lube Report estimated Group III production capacity of 400 barrels per day.

During an earnings conference call with analysts, Go noted that the spread between Group III and Group II is significant, and that in a market where the supply is more than the demand, being able to upgrade into a Group III margin tier is going to be important to our continued growth, Go said.

Bill Anderson, Calumets executive vice president of specialties, said the company has made several batches of its new Group III base oil product at its Shreveport, Louisiana base oil plant.

Were working with additive companies to get approvals, Anderson said during the conference call. One of the largest additive companies has given us base oil interchangeability on products heavier than 5W grades, and we expect to have our 0W approvals later in the late spring/early summer. So were progressing as we had lined out internally at the beginning of the year to get this program launched.

Anderson said the companys Group III production capacity will grow as its sales grow. Well be balancing that between our current customer base, and going to new customers as well, Anderson said.

Clean Harbors

Clean Harbors Safety-Kleen segment – which includes oil rerefining – posted $292.9 million in third-party revenues for the first quarter, up 18.6 percent from $247 million a year earlier. The third-party revenues include the sales of base oil, blended products and reclaimed fuel oil and a small amount of products.

The revenue gain reflects strong growth in the companys Safety-Kleen branches, higher base oil and lubricating pricing, acquisitions made in 2016 and the launch of its OilPlus closed loop offering, Clean Harbors Chairman and CEO Bruce McKim said in its earnings news release.

The company has combined its SK Environmental Services and Kleen Performance Products segments into a single reporting segment called Safety-Kleen, which it says reflects the increasing interpendencies between the two businesses.

Base oil and lubricant prices have risen steadily – a positive development as we move toward the summer driving season, McKim said, as part of the companys business outlook and financial guidance. Within Safety-Kleen, we are confident that our closed-loop offering will grow incrementally throughout 2017, as we broaden the bulk lubricants delivery of our Performance Plus brands to additional metropolitan areas.

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