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Marathon Petroleum 3Q boosted by asset sale

FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) -- Marathon Petroleum Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income rose 8 percent as it booked a gain from a 2010 sale of a refinery and gas stations.

The company earned $1.22 billion, or $3.59 per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. That was up from $1.13 billion, or $3.16 per share, during the same period last year.

Revenue rose 2.9 percent to $21.25 billion.

The company said it would have earned $1.13 billion, or $3.31 per share, if not for special items. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a profit of $3.21 per share on revenue of $19.98 billion.

Marathon Petroleum operates oil refineries and pipelines, and it sells fuel to drivers through its Speedway service stations.

The recent results included an after-tax gain of $117 million for the 2010 sale of a Minnesota refinery and gas station chain.

Earnings from refining and marketing fell slightly to $1.69 billion, from $1.71 billion a year ago. Earnings from its retail gas stations fell to $76 million, from $85 million a year ago as sales of merchandise and the volume of gasoline sold fell.

Marathon paid more for crude oil than a year ago, and it also had higher maintenance expenses.

Marathon Petroleum shares fell 84 cents to $54.09 in midday trading.