BusinessWeek ranks Valero near top of best-performing public companies

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

ST. CHARLES – Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) has earned the No. 4 ranking on the BusinessWeek 50 – the magazine’s list of the best-performing companies on the S&P 500.

Created in 1997, the BusinessWeek 50 uses various performance indicators to rank the companies, including sales and earnings growth, net profit margins, return on equity and total shareholder returns. These metrics are tallied for the most recent year and three year periods. Based on the company’s success in those areas, Valero ranked ahead of some of the world’s most recognized and successful companies, such as ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike, Dell and Johnson & Johnson.

“The BusinessWeek ranking reinforces our belief that we are in the right business at the right time, and that we have the right strategy,” said Bill Greehey, Valero’s chairman and CEO. “As a result of our strategy, we’ve been able to deliver superior returns to our shareholders.”

Valero earned its highest marks in one- and three-year total return on investments. Through the end of 2004, Valero’s shareholders benefited from a five-year total shareholder return of 380 percent – compared with the company’s peer group average return of 54 percent and the 11 percent loss of the S&P 500 Index over the same time period. In 2004 alone, Valero’s total shareholder return was 98 percent. And, because of its exceptional stock performance last year, Valero experienced its first stock split. That strong performance has carried over into 2005, as the company has set new stock price records and has been the top-performing stock among the S&P 500 companies. Valero’s year-to-date return has been about 60 percent.

The profile in the magazine’s April 4 issue acknowledges Valero’s strategy to process cheaper, heavier sour crude feedstocks that allow the company to achieve the highest profit margins. BusinessWeek also predicts continued strong margins for the company as growth in refining capacity lags demand for gasoline, jet fuel and other refined products.

“Our future is bright,” Greehey said. “All of the fundamentals are in place to make 2005 an even better year than 2004.”

Valero Energy is no stranger to industry performance lists, and has received considerable national recognition in the past year. Forbes magazine ranked Valero No. 1 on its list of Best Big Companies for 2004 earnings growth and shareholder return. Forbes also listed Valero as one of America’s Best Managed Companies. Fortune Magazine, meanwhile, ranked Valero third among America’s largest companies in its annual listing of “The 100 Best Companies to Work For,” and Valero was one of just five of those 100 organizations to receive the employee “Pride Award.” Fortune also named Valero as one of America’s Most Admired Companies, and the company was named “Oil Company of the Year” from oil companies around the world in the Platts Global Energy Awards program in 2004. The company also received national honors for its community programs, including the “Spirit of America Award,” United Way’s highest corporate honor. Valero was only the second company to have received the honor a second time.

“It is a great tribute to Valero’s unique culture and a strong testament to our success to have been honored as an industry leader, a top employer, a leader in community service and a leader in shareholder return all in one year,” Greehey added.

Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, with approximately 20,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $50 billion. The company owns and operates 15 refineries throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Valero’s refineries have a combined throughput capacity of approximately 2.5 million barrels per day, which represents approximately 12 percent of the total U.S. refining capacity. Valero is also one of the nation’s largest retail operators with more than 4,700 retail and wholesale branded outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean under various brand names including Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, Valero and Beacon. For more information, please visit

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