Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

Hess selling gas stations, concentrating on oil production

In Florida, Hess is known for its green and white gas stations and collectible toys. The company, though, has now said it will get rid of its gas stations, along with its interests in energy marketing and energy trading, and focus primarily on oil production. The announcement made Monday leads to some serious questions, including: What happens to those neat toy trucks?

Will the Hess gas stations close immediately?

No. The company's 1,350 gas stations, located primarily in Florida, the Northeast and the Carolinas, will be sold. There was no immediate word on whether the stations will keep the Hess name.

Why is this happening?

The company says it's part of a multiyear strategy. But hedge fund Elliott Management has been pressuring Hess to undertake just such a restructuring to improve financial performance. The gas stations account for just 4 percent of Hess' $38 billion in annual revenue. The company's stock price rose 3.5 percent Monday and was up again in trading Tuesday to almost $70 a share.

What about the toy trucks?

The company expects the 2013 models to be ready in time for Christmas, batteries included. A Hess spokesman couldn't guarantee the trucks would be around beyond that time except to say, "We think Hess is a strong, valuable brand that will live long into the future." Sources told the New York Post the holiday toy, first rolled out in 1964, could survive if Hess finds a buyer for the stations willing to keep the popular brand.

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