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Marathon Petroleum (MPC)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 31, 2012 10:00 am ET


Pamela K. M. Beall - Vice President of Investor Relations & Government & Public Affairs

Gary R. Heminger - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Executive Committee

Donald C. Templin - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Garry L. Peiffer - Executive Vice President of Corporate Planning and Investor & Government Relations

C. Michael Palmer - Senior Vice President of Supply Distribution & Planning


Paul Y. Cheng - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Edward Westlake - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Paul Sankey - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Arjun N. Murti - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Chi Chow - Macquarie Research

Evan Calio - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Douglas Terreson - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Roger D. Read - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Blake Fernandez - Howard Weil Incorporated, Research Division

Faisel Khan - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Cory J. Garcia - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Jeffrey A. Dietert - Simmons & Company International, Research Division



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Welcome to the Marathon Petroleum Corporation's Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Donna, and I will be your operator for today's call. [Operator Instructions] Please note that the conference is being recorded.

I will now turn the call over to Pam Beall, Vice President of Investor Relations. Ms. Beall, you may begin.

Pamela K. M. Beall

Thank you, Dawn. And welcome, everyone, to Marathon Petroleum Corporation's Second Quarter Conference Call. The synchronized slides that accompany this call can be found on our website, On the call today are Gary Heminger, President and Chief Executive Officer; Garry Peiffer, Executive Vice President of Corporate Planning and Investor and Government Relations; Don Templin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Mike Palmer, Senior Vice President of Supply, Distribution and Planning.

Please read the Safe Harbor statement you'll find on Slide 2. It's a reminder that we will be making forward-looking statements during the presentation and during the question-and-answer session. Actual results may differ materially from what we expect today. And factors that could cause actual results to differ are included here as well as in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now I'll turn the call over to Gary Heminger for opening remarks. Gary?

Gary R. Heminger

Thank you, Pam, and good morning to everyone.

The second quarter ended June 30 marked our one-year anniversary as a standalone public company. During this first year, we have created significant value for our shareholders, and we continue to take steps to do so well into the future.

We had a strong second quarter in both our R&M and Speedway segments. Don will review the results in more detail, but I want to say that the strong results are no coincidence. Our geographic footprint and the logistics assets that connect our operations give us unique and significant operational flexibility to capture value wherever it exists throughout the value chain such as allowing us to access -- allowing us access to price-advantage crude. In addition, our Gulf Coast presence gives us the ability to make fuel sales into higher-value export markets where our sales increased 110,000 barrels per day in the second quarter. And we believe these are enduring advantages.

Since becoming a standalone company, our shareholder focus and perspective on capital allocation have been consistent. We will continue to carefully manage our projected capitalization and liquidity position to support our long-term strategic intent to maintain an investment grade credit profile and protect our business from volatility in the refining industry and the capital markets. We will also evaluate organic investment opportunities as well as selective acquisitions that complement our existing operations, leverage our knowledge of the markets in which we operate and provide appropriate returns, further enhancing the value proposition to our shareholders. We will continue to balance investments in our business with returning capital to shareholders.

We are very pleased that, over the past 12 months, we have returned over $1 billion of capital to shareholders, which represented over 3/4 of our free cash flow. This was accomplished through a combination of a 25% increase to our base dividend last November and a share repurchase program announced in February. We recently completed an $850 million accelerated share repurchase program through which 20.4 million shares or 6% of our initial shares outstanding were acquired at a volume-weighted average price of $41.75 per share. This was the initial phase of our $2 billion share repurchase authorization, leaving us $1.15 billion available under our current authorization. Under this existing authorization, we expect to repurchase shares opportunistically in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions from time to time which are subject to market conditions, corporate, regulatory and other considerations.

Part of our capital allocation strategy is to establish a growing base dividend that's sustainable for the economic cycles. We also believe our competitive position, the market dynamics and steps we are taking to further unlock shareholder value will allow us to generate significant free cash flow. It is for these reasons we recently announced another increase in the base dividend, this time by 40%. Based on yesterday's closing share price, our annualized cash dividend yield is approximately 3% and the total annualized capital return to shareholders is nearly 9%.

On July 2, we took an important strategic step for MPC and its shareholders. We filed a registration statement in anticipation of our proposed initial public offering of common units for master limited partnership for MPLX LP. MPLX LP was formed initially with a planned contribution of an interest in certain onshore commentary pipeline assets located in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S., along with a butane storage cavern near our Catlettsburg refinery. As our own subsidiary, MPLX LP was formed to be MPC's primary vehicle to own, operate, develop and acquire hydrocarbon-based pipelines and other midstream assets. Since the initial filing is preliminary and it has not been reviewed by the SEC, our remarks about the MLP on this call will be limited.

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