Valero Energy reported higher-than-expected earnings on Thursday. The San Antonio-based company earned $862 million in profit during the fourth quarter 2015.
The San Antonio oil refiner reported earnings of $1.79 per share, beating the average estimate of $1.41 per share.
High crack spreads, the difference between crude oil and refined petroleum products, have meant strong profits for oil refiners despite low gasoline prices. The price of benchmark U.S. crude has fallen more than 70 percent since June 2014.
In the fourth quarter, Valero Energy’s refining margin fell to $10.87, compared to $11.17 a year ago.
Net income to Valero Energy’s stockholders fell 62 cents per share, down $298 million. Operating revenue fell 33 percent to $18.78 billion.
In the fourth quarter, the company commissioned a new crude unit at its Corpus Christi refinery, completed a hydrocracker expansion at its Port Arthur refinery and completed a crude unit expansion at its McKee refinery.
Valero Energy subsidiaries employ about 10,000 people, and its assets include 15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day. The company operates 11 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of 1.3 gallons per year and a 50-megawatt wind farm.