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Marathon Petroleum Stock Is Volatile in Q1

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Mar. 20 2019, Published 12:08 p.m. ET

Marathon Petroleum’s stock performance

Since the beginning of the first quarter, Marathon Petroleum (MPC) stock has been volatile. The stock rose in January and fell in February. So far, the stock has been flat in March. Overall, the stock has risen 4% since January 2. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), a broader equity market indicator, has risen 13% during the same period. Marathon Petroleum has underperformed SPY in the first quarter.

Marathon Petroleum’s peers have risen in the first quarter. Valero Energy (VLO) and Phillips 66 (PSX) have risen 15% and 12%, respectively, since January 2. HollyFrontier (HFC) and Delek US Holdings (DK) have risen 3% and 9%, respectively, in the first quarter.

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Volatility

So far in the first quarter, Marathon Petroleum stock has been volatile. The volatility is likely due to the company’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The volatility has been partially offset by weaker refining indicators in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, Marathon Petroleum announced better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The earnings rose YoY (year-over-year) due to the integration of Andeavor’s assets. Marathon Petroleum’s operating earnings rose across the Refining, Retail, and Midstream segments. For more on Marathon Petroleum’s earnings, read MPC’s Earnings Rose across Segments in the Fourth Quarter.

In January and February, Marathon Petroleum’s refining earnings indicators were weak. The blended crack and sour differential have fallen YoY in the first quarter. Marathon Petroleum’s refining earnings will likely fall YoY in the first quarter. However, higher volumes due to integrating Andeavor could support the company’s refining earnings in the first quarter.

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