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Marathon Petroleum Posts Narrower-Than-Expected Adjusted Loss

Marathon Petroleum’s first-quarter loss excluding non-cash impairments was 16 cents a share, slimmer than the FactSet consensus.

Marathon Petroleum  (MPC) - Get Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Report shares rose on Thursday after the oil refiner reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter adjusted loss amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On a GAAP basis the net loss widened to $9.2 billion, or $14.25 a share, from $7 million, or 1 cent a share, in the year-earlier quarter.

Marathon’s latest adjusted per-share loss, which excludes $12.4 billion of non-cash impairments, totaled 16 cents, slimmer than the FactSet analyst consensus of 25 cents.

Revenue slid 11% to $25.22 billion in the latest quarter from $28.25 billion a year earlier. This year’s number trailed analysts’ estimate of $27.1 billion.

The Findlay, Ohio, company is slashing its 2020 capital-spending target by more than $700 million to $1 billion. 

It also expects to reduce annual operating expenses by $200 million, primarily by deferring some projects.

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The company is suspending its share buyback and buttressing its liquidity.

Marathon issued $2.5 billion in senior notes last month and obtained an additional $1 billion revolving credit facility. 

The company left its quarterly dividend unchanged at 68.75 cents a share, which was a 4.6% increase from a year earlier.

The pandemic has hurt "demand for hydrocarbons that we transport through our logistics assets," Marathon Chief Executive Michael Hennigan said in a statement.

"In this environment, we are taking proactive steps by reducing planned 2020 capital and operating expenses to offset the impacts from the related demand destruction, as well as potential impacts from the current commodity price environment on our gathering and processing business segment."

Marathon shares at last check stood at $33.19, up 5.3%. They have dropped 41% over the past three months, compared with a 14% drop for the S&P 500.