UPDATE 2-Valero Q4 loss shrinks, cuts dividend

* Valero should be profitable in 2010-CEO

* Q4 loss ex-items of 28 cts tops Wall St view

* Cuts dividend to 5 cents from 15 cents

* Shares slip less than 1 pct in premarket trading

*

HOUSTON, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N: ), the
largest U.S. refiner, reported a smaller-than-expected
quarterly loss on Wednesday, but cut its dividend by two-thirds
to preserve cash as weak fuel demand weighed on the company.

Valero has been hit hard by less demand for gasoline and
diesel over the past year as the U.S. economy slumped, and it
has seen it margins squeezed as crude oil prices rose in recent
months.

Still, Chief Executive Bill Klesse said the company would
be profitable in 2010 as its cost cutting and likely asset
sales would offset the low refining margins.

Net loss in the fourth quarter was $1.4 billion, or $2.51
per share, compared with a year-ago loss of $3.3 billion, or
$6.36 per share.

Excluding one-time items, Valero’s loss per share of 28
cents bested analysts’ consensus forecast of a loss of 47
cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell about 6 percent to $18.87 billion, topping the
$18.34 that analysts had forecast.

The company cut its quarterly dividend from 15 cents per
share to 5 cents.

Valero’s shares fell 1 percent to $19.83 in premarket
trading.

Stock Market Analysis

(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston and Matt Daily in New
York; Editing by Derek Caney and Maureen Bavdek)

UPDATE 2-Valero Q4 loss shrinks, cuts dividend