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Marathon Petroleum Tops Profit Estimates On Strong Fuel Demand

Strong U.S. fuel demand helped Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) easily beat analyst estimates after reporting on Tuesday an adjusted net income of $3.2 billion for the third quarter of 2023.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at $8.14, above the analyst consensus estimate of $7.75 compiled by The Wall Street Journal.

In the refining and marketing segment, adjusted EBITDA was $16.06 per barrel for the third quarter of 2023, down from $19.87 per barrel for the third quarter of 2022, due to lower market crack spreads.

The refining and marketing (R&M) margin for Marathon Petroleum was $26.16 per barrel for the third quarter of 2023, down from $30.21 per barrel for the third quarter of 2022.

Refining operating costs per barrel fell to $5.14 for the third quarter of 2023, versus $5.63 for the third quarter of 2022, primarily driven by lower energy costs, Marathon Petroleum said.

Crude capacity utilization was around 94%, resulting in total throughput of 3.0 million barrels per day (bpd) for the third quarter of 2023, the company said. 

“The business generated $5 billion of net cash provided by operating activities and we returned $3.1 billion through share repurchases and dividends during the quarter,” President and CEO Michael J. Hennigan said.

“Demonstrating our commitment to return capital, we increased our quarterly dividend by 10% and increased our share repurchase authorization by $5 billion.”

Marathon Petroleum reported earnings days after Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), the second largest U.S. refiner by capacity, opened the refiners’ earnings season, announcing last week higher-than-expected profits for the third quarter of 2023, amid continued strong product demand in America.

“Our refineries operated well and achieved 95 percent throughput capacity utilization, which is a testament to our team’s relentless focus on operational excellence,” said Lane Riggs, Valero’s CEO and president.

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Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), however, missed analyst expectations despite stronger refining margins compared to the second quarter.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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