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Marathon's Quarterly Income Nearly Doubled from Last Year

HOUSTON -- Marathon Oil Corp. reported zooming profits from refining and marketing Tuesday, reported the Houston Chronicle.The Houston company's refining and wholesale marketing profit margins on refined products grew to 12.5 cents per gallon during the quarter, up from 7 cents per gallon during the same quarter a year ago.

Refining margins have been at near-record levels, the strongest since 1986, analyst Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co. said. Other big oil companies with similar exposure to refining should benefit as well, he predicted.

The strong gains in refining more than made up for curtailed output of oil and gas during the second quarter for Marathon Oil, the nation's fourth-largest oil company. The company tallied a 48 percent increase in profit over a year ago, on a continuing operations basis, consisting of $352 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, up from $248 million, or 80 cents per share. Revenue grew 30 percent to $12.5 billion.

The company's seven refineries, which are a part of the Marathon Ashland Petroleum joint venture, ran full out during the quarter, handling a record 1.013 million barrels of crude oil per day. Combined, the income from refining, marketing and transportation nearly doubled, to $577 million from $258 million.

Meanwhile, same-store sales of merchandise, like cigarettes and milk, at its 1,746 Speedway SuperAmerica gasoline/convenience stores rose by 12 percent.
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