Every investor who watched a favorite stock falter last year knows that nothing can be taken for granted in this economic environment.
Refusing to coast through a severe recession in lock-down mode, refiner Holly
Holly refined its way to marginally higher fourth-quarter income of $50.6 million, despite a 36% drop in revenue from the prior year. Fueling the performance was a 22% increase in the overall refinery gross margin to $12.01 per barrel produced. While larger competitors like Conoco Phillips
Along with Valero Energy and pint-sized Calumet Specialty Products
Every rose has its thorn, however, and Holly is no exception. While collapsing oil prices ushered in cheaper feedstocks, they also threw the company's payable and receivable accounts into disarray and caused a $120 million cash draw-down. Also, since Holly Energy Partners
Fool contributor Christopher Barker captains yachts and writes about stocks. He can also be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He owns shares of Valero. The Motley Fool has a highly refined disclosure policy.