From the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column:
Rare is the industry that rallies on news of a bankruptcy. Oil refining is one of them.Here's Western Refining vs. the S&P and big daddy Valero:
Gasoline prices have been on a tear despite U.S. demand for the fuel hitting its lowest level in a decade. Speculators have increased their net long position in gasoline futures on Nymex to the highest level since May 2010. Shares in refiner Valero Energy have rallied 14% so far in 2012.
The party starter? Swiss refiner Petroplus Holding's recent bankruptcy, as well as other announcements of refineries closing on both sides of the Atlantic. Altogether, some 1.5 million to two million barrels per day of capacity have closed or been slated for closure in recent months, according to estimates from JBC Energy, a consultancy, and Barclays Capital. Excess refining capacity globally stood at four million barrels per day at the end of 2011, according to Deutsche Bank, so a sizeable chunk of that has been taken off the table....MORE
Western has some advantages in their feedstock prices.