As the summer doldrums set in for oil and equities, at least one sector has become a sleeper hit — refinery stocks.
Just look at Valero . Shares of the world’s largest independent refiner (by processing capacity) are surging over 5 percent topping $28 a share, after the company beat Wall Street consensus estimates by posting a boost in profits last quarter.
Valero reported a profit of $831 million, or $1.50 a share, for the second quarter of 2012, compared to $745 million, or $1.30 a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.43 a share, according to Thomson Reuters .
Shares of Valero, seen as an industry bellwether, have soared over 30 percent so far this year. But it is not the only refining stock posting big gains.
Shares of Western Refining have skyrocketed over 75 percent year-to-date, while Holly Frontier has surged 60 percent, Marathon Petroleum is up about 45 percent, and Sunoco has gained over 40 percent.
While U.S. oil prices are down 11 percent so far this year, U.S. refining stocks have been outperforming energy futures, the sector and the S&P 500 indexsignificantly. The S&P Oil & Gas Refining Index is up 36 percent this year, while the broader S&P 500 index is up only 10 percent.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page