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HollyFrontier Net Up On Strong Refining Margins

-Post-merger HollyFrontier increases refining utilization-Revenue more than doubles but earnings fall short of forecast-CEO 'remains optimistic' despite new pipeline threatening WTI discountHOUSTON -( Dow Jones )- HollyFrontier Corp.'s (HFC) fourth-quarter earnings soared as the refiner took advantage of its post-merger size and strong refining margins but ultimately missed analyst expectations.The company, which was formed through the July 2011 merger of Holly Corp . and Frontier Oil Corp., has benefited from its access to mid-continent crude oil, which is less expensive than other crudes. The combined company realized operating margins nearly quadruple those from the end of 2010 while it increased its operating rate to 91.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 from 86.6% the year before."HollyFrontier is certainly laying the pedal to the metal with higher runs," said Raymond James analyst Cory Garcia.In its second quarter as a combined company, HollyFrontier reported a profit of $223.4...

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