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HollyFrontier falls short in 1Q

DALLAS (AP) -- HollyFrontier Corp.'s first-quarter net income rose by 38 percent on improved margins, but the oil refiner's revenue fell with lower production.

The Dallas-based company said Tuesday that it earned $333.7 million, or $1.63 per share, for the quarter that ended March 31. That compares with $241.7 million, or $1.16 per share, earned in the first quarter last year. Revenue fell 5 percent to $4.71 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected $1.76 per share on revenue of $4.59 billion.

CEO Mike Jennings said that management is pleased with the results. While the company had lower production levels due to planned turnarounds, he noted that strong refined product margins helped drive first-quarter earnings.

Refinery gross margins were $23.32 per produced barrel, a 34 percent increase over the first quarter of 2012. Refinery production was about 407,270 barrels per day, down from 432,520 last year. Refinery utilization dropped to 92.5 percent from 98.6 percent a year ago.

Jennings also said that significant planned maintenance was performed at both the El Dorado and Navajo refineries during the quarter. That work has been completed. The company's margin outlook continues to be positive heading into the summer driving season.

HollyFrontier fell 67 cents to $51.06 in midday trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week trading range of $28.05 to $59.20.