Crown Central Petroleum posts first-quarter profit

April 29, 1994|By Joel Obermayer | Joel Obermayer,Sun Staff Writer

Improving refining margins helped Crown Central Petroleum Corp. put together its second consecutive quarter of profitability after two years of losses, the company announced yesterday at its annual meeting.

The company said it earned $8.7 million, or 88 cents a share, for the first three months of 1994 in contrast to a loss of $5.7 million, or 58 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues were $393 million, down 4.8 percent compared with a year ago, after a planned cut in refinery production.

Baltimore-based Crown is one of the state's 10 largest public companies. The company owns and operates two refineries in Texas and owns about 400 gas stations and convenience stores in seven mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.

In Maryland, Crown has 102 gas stations, which under state law must be operated by independent dealers. About one-quarter of the company's refinery production goes to Crown stations. The company has about 260 employees in Maryland.

Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that refining margins were helped by the weather.

"A general increase in the demand for gasoline, a very cold winter and maximum utilization of our refineries contributed to these encouraging results," he said.

Mr. Rosenberg's upbeat message was in marked contrast with the situation last fall, when oil prices fell to a five-year low and the company cut production because of eroding margins. But with oil prices rising, and demand expected to increase with the summer, the company might have a smoother ride this year.

While more than 90 percent of the firm's revenues come from refining, the company's retail outlets also helped, Mr. Rosenberg said.

As a follow-up to the successful Crown/Merchant's Frequent Fill-Up Program that concluded in January, several new promotions will be announced during the second quarter.

Crown Central Petroleum Corp. .. .. .. ..Ticker. .. .. .. . Yesterday's

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Symbol. .. .. .. . Cls. ..Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..CNP/A.. .. .. .. . 23 7/8 . .. .+ 1/4

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..CNP/B.. .. .. .. ..22.. .. .- Period ended 3/31/94 .. .. .. .. 1st qtr.. .. .Year ago .. ..Chg.

Revenue. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . $393,586.. .. .$413,302 .. .-4.8%

Net Income. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .$8,660.. .. .$(5,720).. .. --

Primary EPS .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . $0.88.. .. .$(0.58).. .. .--

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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