NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 07/05/12 -- Falling crude prices have helped boost profits of oil & gas refineries. According to Energy Department's Energy Information Administration crude represents 66 percent of the cost of gasoline. The recent boom in North American oil production has seen oil supplies in the U.S. rise to their highest levels in 22 years. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry and provides equity research on Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) and Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC).
"The primary beneficiary of the secular long term boom in U.S. oil and gas production will be export-oriented processing manufacturers, of which the single biggest, most under-valued sector is refining," Paul Sankey, Deutsche Bank analyst, said in a note to clients.
Refineries in recent weeks have seen upgrades from various analysts. Deutsche Bank earlier this week upgraded Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corp. to a "buy" rating, and Holly Frontier was listed as one of Sankey's top picks. Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun Murti has also upgraded ratings of HollyFrontier Corp. and Marathon Petroleum Corp. to "buy," while Tesoro Corp. was upgraded to "neutral" from "sell" according to a recent Bloomberg article.
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HollyFrontier recently reported that its Board of Directors has authorized a $350 million share repurchase program. "Our Board's decision to authorize a second $350 million share repurchase program reflects our continued commitment to deliver value to our shareholders," said Mike Jennings, President and Chief Executive Officer of HollyFrontier.
Tesoro last month announced the successful conclusion of contract negotiations at its Golden Eagle (Martinez, California) refinery. Golden Eagle was the last of Tesoro's six United Steelworkers represented refineries to complete negotiations. Shares of the company have rebounded over 18 percent in the last month.
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