Hess' C-store Sales Decline in First Quarter

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Hess' C-store Sales Decline in First Quarter


NEW YORK -- Sales at Hess Corp.'s convenience store division dropped by 2 percent during its 2012 fiscal first quarter vs. the same timeframe in 2011.

During an earnings conference call this morning, Hess also reported that its retail operation profit margins dropped in the latest quarter.

Hess' total refining and marketing earnings reached $11 million in the first quarter, compared to $39 million in its 2011 fiscal first quarter.

For the entire company, Hess also saw earnings decline. The company earned $545 million during its 2012 first quarter, compared to a profit of $929 million a year ago. Hess Chairman and CEO John Hess cited higher production costs and weaker refining margins in the latest quarter for the lower profit.

Total revenue for Hess' latest quarter equaled $9.75 billion, a drop of 7.3 percent vs. 2011's first quarter. However, the $9.75-billion figure beat analysts' expectations of $9.42 billion.

As of March 31, Hess said it had $396 million in cash and cash equivalents, as well as $6.97 billion in debt.

Despite lower profit figures compared to last year, the chief executive said he expects company growth and margins to increase during future quarters.