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Published: Friday, 8/1/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Marathon Petroleum profits surge in 2nd quarter

Earnings hike 44% from same period a year ago

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Marathon Petroleum Corp., based in Findlay reported ‘‍an outstanding quarter’ with strong performances across all of its units. Marathon Petroleum Corp., based in Findlay reported ‘‍an outstanding quarter’ with strong performances across all of its units.
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FINDLAY — A strong performance by its refining operations propelled Marathon Petroleum Corp. to second-quarter profits of $855 million, or $2.95 a share, the refining and marketing company reported Thursday.

The earnings were a 44 percent increase over the second quarter of 2013, when Findlay-based Marathon had profits of $593 million, or $1.83 per share.

For the quarter, Marathon, which besides refining operations also operates the Speedway gas station chain, had total revenues of $1.37 billion, a 43 percent jump over a year ago when revenues totaled $960 million.

On the refining side, the company had $1.26 billion in operating income, compared to $903 million a year ago, despite having just completed one of its largest ever combined maintenance turnarounds.

Marathon spent most of the first quarter updating its newly acquired Galveston Bay refinery south of Houston and its Garyville refinery in Louisiana, which was damaged by a tornado in May.

But Gary Heminger, Marathon president and chief executive officer, said company employees did a remarkable job of bringing production up swiftly at both refineries after their turnarounds, and workers at Garyville lost just two weeks of production despite significant damage.

“After the tornado hit, crude [oil] input was estimated at less than 5 percent. But we got it fully operational in 14 to 15 days,” Mr. Heminger told Wall Street analysts on Thursday during a conference call. Overall, Mr. Heminger said Marathon had “an outstanding quarter” with strong performances across all of its units.

He added that the Federal Trade Commission has said its review of Marathon’s bid of $2.6 billion for the retail arm of Hess Corp. is done, and the deal will close later this year. The deal will give Speedway another 1,340 locations.

MPLX LP, the Marathon spinoff that controls pipelines and other assets in the United States, on Thursday reported a second-quarter profit of $28.8 million, or 37 cents per unit.

That compared with $18.6 million, or 26 cents per unit a year ago. MPLX had quarterly revenues of $133.9 million, compared with $122.2 million a year ago.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Marathon shares rose $4.50, or 5.7 percent, to $83.48. MPLX shares fell 87 cents to close at $56.75.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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