9:11AM Marathon Oil beats by $0.54, beats on revs; announces it plans to remain one fully integrated company (MRO) 26.88 : Reports Q4 (Dec) earnings of $1.44 per share, excluding special items and impairments, $0.54 better than the First Call consensus of $0.90; revenues fell 21.7% year/year to $14.8 bln vs the $13.32 bln consensus. Co says, "We were again able to capture solid operational profitability for the fourth quarter and full year through our fully integrated downstream system, including our seven refineries; extensive pipeline, barge and terminal network; and dual channel marketing assets. In particular, our results benefitted from significant transportation operations and strong retail margins in this period of extreme commodity price volatility. Additionally, we made significant progress in 2008 on the Garyville refinery expansion project, which is now about 75% complete and on schedule for start-up in the fourth quarter of this year... As part of our continued focus on enhancing shareholder value, we have evaluated the potential separation of Marathon into two separate companies, one focused on Marathon's upstream, integrated gas and oil sands mining businesses, and the other focused on our downstream business. During our evaluation, the overall business environment has witnessed a period of unprecedented financial and commodity market uncertainty. Given this environment, we have concluded it is in the best interest of our shareholders to remain a fully integrated energy company."
Great that MRO will remain fully integrated. I've been hoping for that all along. Long term absolutely best policy. And as a long term holder already, it sure would be nice if they raised the dividend considerably higher.