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Valero holds dividend steady as earnings nearly double YOY

On the heels of a quarter during which Valero Energy Corp. nearly doubled its earnings year over year, company executives said they had no immediate plans to increase the company's dividend.

Executives said the oil refiner has paid out 51% of its year-to-date adjusted net cash from operations, and reiterated that the company would continue to target an annual payout ratio of between 40% and 50%.

During the second quarter, the company produced $1.5 billion in net cash from operating activities excluding working capital, and paid $672 million to stockholders, of which $345 million was through dividends and the remainder of which was through share buybacks.

"Our basic view is [to] get the dividend up to where we are paying out towards the high end of the peer group," Valero Chairman, President and CEO Joe Gorder said. "We use the share repurchases as a flywheel. … To the extent that free cash flow exceeds our expectations, we use that flywheel to … repurchase additional shares. … Whenever we make changes to [the dividend], we want to make sure that [we can] deal with it in good times and in bad times."