Margins continue to be the story of the earnings season for commodity companies, and that didn't change with Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), as they exceeded expectations for earnings and revenue, with higher crude oil prices also being a factor.
A secondary factor for energy companies has been the seasonal increase in demand for fuel, although gas prices have remained somewhat level, and even down from usual levels.
Even so, the demand for fuel has pushed margins up for Marathon, along with the margins in their refinery business, which has helped almost all the energy companies this quarter, who have refining as part of their operations.
Especially helpful for Marathon in the quarter was the lower cost of processing sour crude oil, which is less expensive than light sweet crude.
Earnings for the quarter rose to $709 million, or $1.00 a share. Last year in the same quarter they generated $413 million, or 58 cents a share.
Revenue soared from last year as well, rising to $18.6 billion, up from $13.3 billion. Analysts estimated revenue of $19.7 billion with earnings of 81 cents a share.
Looking ahead, Marathon maintained its full-year production of 390,000 to 410,000 boe a day, with a daily average of 385,000 to 405,000 in the third quarter available for sale.
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