Marathon Petroleum posts bumper profit on soaring fuel prices

(Reuters) - Marathon Petroleum smashed quarterly profit estimates on Tuesday, the latest U.S. refiner to benefit from a surge in fuel prices sparked by tight capacity and low inventories.

The company's refining and marketing margins tripled to $37.54 per barrel in the April-June quarter, mirroring similar gains at rivals such as Phillips 66 and sending Marathon's shares 4% higher in premarket trading.

Global refining capacity has declined in the past two years because the pandemic-driven demand hit forced several less profitable operations to shut shop, while Western sanctions against Russia have tightened an already-supplied market.

Marathon's refineries ran at nearly full capacity in the second quarter, resulting in a total throughput of 3.1 MMbpd, compared with utilization of 94% and a total throughput of 2.9 MMbpd a year earlier.

For the third quarter, the company expects a throughput of 2.9 MMbpd.

The company posted an adjusted income of $5.69 B, or $10.61 per share, the largest in at least five years, according to Refinitiv data. The figure sailed past the average analyst estimate of $8.04 per share.

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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