Phillips 66 is loving the oil crash.
While some energy companies have been cutting jobs and capital expenditure forecasts, the impact on low oil prices has not been uniform across the board.
For companies like Phillips 66, the drop in oil prices has been felt less because it is not an exploration and production company that drills raw crude.
Phillips primarily refines and transports oil products, and declining oil prices have served to boost the company’s margins.
In a note Thursday, Goldman’s David Kostin highlighted the following comments CEO Greg Garland made during its fourth quarter earnings call last month.
And Garland was upbeat.
“I think people are discounting the impact of $US50 crude globally in terms of economic activity, demand for petrochemical products. In fact, we’re seeing increased demand for even refined products,” Garland said.
Goldman estimates that lower gas prices represents a $US175 billion tax cut for consumers, and expects to see more discretionary spending across the board.
Phillips 66 beat earnings expectations in the fourth quarter of 2014. Earnings rose 39% to $US1.15 billion or $US2.05 a share, versus $US826 million or $US1.347 a share the previous year.
On Friday, Brent crude oil rose above $US60 for the first time in 2015 to a high of $US61.74 per barrel. It’s still down as much as 40% from its 2014 high. West Texas Intermediate crude rallied up to 3.2% to $US52.85 a barrel.
Here’s more of what the Garland told analysts during the company’s earnings call:
We are seeing fairly robust demand in the US for [petrochemicals]. Europe is kind of moving sideways, Asia had weakened in the fourth quarter, but looks like they may be coming back to us. And so I think that fundamentally demand is going to be good for petrochemical products, and there is not a lot of new capacity coming on at 2015. So we’re seeing globally marginally higher operating rates, which directionally should be positive for margins.