October 26, 2017 / 11:08 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Refiner Marathon Petroleum's profit soars on higher margins

(Adds details on quarter, background)

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp's quarterly profit on Thursday leaped more than six-fold on U.S. gasoline and diesel margins, which surged to a two-year high after a crippling U.S. hurricane season.

Specifically, Harvey struck Texas in late August, sapping demand for crude oil and crushing gasoline lines in various parts of the U.S. Southeast and Midwest. Refiners, especially in the Midwest, benefited as gasoline prices sky-rocketed.

Marathon, the first major U.S. refiner to report quarterly results, said refining and marketing gross margin rose to $14.14 per barrel in the third quarter from $10.67 last year.

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon said income from its refining and marketing segment rose about 335 percent to $1.1 billion.

Results were largely driven by higher crack spreads and high utilization rates, with refinery throughputs exceeding 2 million barrels per day, the company said.

Earnings rose to $903 million, or $1.77 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $145 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company took a charge of $267 million in the year-ago quarter over the scrapping of a pipeline project.

Revenues and other income rose to $19.39 billion from $16.46 billion a year earlier. (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Supriya Kurane, Bernard Orr)

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