Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC)

CAPS Rating: 5 out of 5

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Player Avatar TMFPennyWise (< 20) Submitted: 2/7/2013 12:43:24 PM : Outperform Start Price: $75.31 MPC Score: -17.94

Marathon Petroleum is a new company formed in 2012 as a result of the split of the old Marathon Oil into two companies, Marathon Oil (MRO) of Houston, TX, a exploration and driller entity, and Marathon Petroleum of Findlay, OH, (MPC) which focuses on mid and down stream services. Last month MPC in turn spun off its Master Limited Partnership (MPLX) into yet another entity comprised some pipeline, refinery and barge assets. These will serve as fee based operations to MPC and to third parties. This projected efficiency will unlock additional value as sale of services to third parties develops. MPC retains 70% majority interest in the MLP.

I just listened to the recent Credit Suisse presentation (Feb. 6 2013) by Gary Heminger, CEO. He asserted that although MPC had quite a good year last year and the stock experienced a significant run up, he believes there is more value and growth in store for 2013. MPC acquired (last week) an under performing BP refinery and expects to see increased revenue from bringing that on line. They have completed their Detroit refining facility and the recently purchased Galvenston Bay refinery is ready to go too, bringing their refinery total to six, both in the southwest region and in the Ohio Valley region. Heminger also projects continued share repurchases thru 2013 and a growing dividend.

Heminger mentioned that MPC will be well positioned for the expected Utica Shale drilling, projected to ramp up in mid 2013. MPC has full or part interest in two refineries, barge docks, truck services, and pipeline facilities within easy reach of the drilling in Ohio and cost efficiencies and revenues will benefit from having these facilities close to the wells.

I took out a position in MPC this morning, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will see an increase in the stock price while the US energy sector enjoys its prosperity in the next several years.

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