Marathon Petroleum Rises After Narrower-Than-Expected Loss

Marathon Petroleum's third-quarter loss was better than analysts expected, but revenue missed estimates.
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Marathon Petroleum  (MPC) - Get Report reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded analyst expectations Monday while revenue missed estimates.

Shares of the Findlay, Ohio, refiner and marketer rose 5.3% to $31.05 at last check. The shares have dropped almost in half this year.

The oil refiner reported a net loss of $1.02 billion, or $1.57 a share, compared with profit of $1.1 billion, or $1.66, in the year-ago period.

The latest adjusted loss was $1 a share, compared with profit of $1.63 a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue fell 37% to $17.55 billion from $27.69 billion.

A survey of analysts by FactSet produced consensus estimates for Marathon Petroleum of a GAAP net loss of $1.75 a share, or an adjusted loss of $1.71, on revenue of $19.75 billion.

"The challenges created by covid continued through the third quarter," President and Chief Executive Michael J. Hennigan said in a statement. 

"Despite some recovery, global demand for our products and services remains significantly below historical levels, which continues to pressure profitability for both our company and the industry," he added.

The energy industry has been hammered by the pandemic and related lockdowns as demand for energy slumped. Consumers stayed home, relatively few people traveled and businesses closed.

On Aug. 2 Marathon Petroleum reached a deal to sell its Speedway gas-station chain for $21 billion to 7-Eleven, a subsidiary of Japan’s Seven & I Holdings. 

The company is progressing toward the sale, targeting a closing in the first quarter. 

Marathon Petroleum said it remained committed to using the proceeds of the sale to strengthen its balance sheet and return capital to shareholders.

The company also took steps to reduce its cost structure, including job cuts. 

Marathon's Dickinson, N.D., facility is starting up, the company said. The facility is expected to produce 12,000 barrels a day of renewable diesel from corn and soybean oil.

The company also progressed toward converting the Martinez refinery to a renewable diesel facility by 2022.