Marathon Petroleum profits down 86 percent


FINDLAY — Marathon Petroleum Corp. today reported a third-quarter profit of $168 million, or 54 cents a share, an 86 percent drop from the same period a year ago when the Findlay-based oil refining and marketing firm had profits of $1.2 billion, or $3.59 a share.

Marathon revenues increased nearly 24 percent to $26.3 billion in the quarter, compared with revenues of $21.2 billion in the same period in 2012.

The company said its profits were down because during the quarter it spent nearly $1.2 billion on a combination of dividends and share repurchases to enhance shareholder value.

Company Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger said that since Marathon Petroleum became a public company in June, 2011 it has increased its dividend 110 percent and repurchased nearly $3.7 billion, or 17 percent of its shares.

The company spent nearly $1 billion to buy back about 14 million shares in the third quarter. On Wednesday it declared a third-quarter dividend of 42 cents per share, which will be payable Dec. 10.

In mid-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Marathon Petroleum’s stock was up 70 cents to $73.21.