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Marathon Petroleum (MPC) to Lay Off 12% Staff Amid Coronavirus

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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In a securities filing, Marathon Petroleum Corporation MPC recently expressed its intention to slash headcount along with shutting down two refineries, namely Martinez, CA and Gallup, New Mexico, thereby affecting nearly 2050 employees of the company excluding the staff at its Speedway operations. On the whole, these lay-offs and the vacancies that the company decided not to recruit for, reflect nearly 12% of its workforce minus the Speedway personnel. The strategic move comes in response to the collapsing product demand resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Marathon Petroleum is expected to have incurred charges of around $125-$175 million in the third quarter of this year for severance and employee benefits-related expenses as a result of these tactical actions. The company’s midstream arm MPLX LP MPLX is expected to repay $20-$35 million of its charges.

Per Reuters, Marathon Petroleum already cut 405 jobs of salaried workers at its seven refineries last week and another 1,250 hourly and salaried employees will be made redundant in the Gallup and Martinez plants.

This currently Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) energy player is not the only company to retrench workers of late. Last month, Shell RDS.A announced plans to make 7,000-9,000 staff redundant by the end of 2022, thereby affecting 10% of its total workforce including 1,500 people who voluntarily agreed to exit the company this year. Shell expects this overhaul to deliver annual cost savings of up to $2.5 billion by 2022. The company also envisioned third-quarter post-tax impairment charges between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Another oil supermajor and Shell’s continental rival BP plc. BP announced plans to trim nearly 10,000 positions as it aims to lower its oil and gas production volumes and focus more on expanding its renewables business.

About Marathon Petroleum

Findlay, OH-based Marathon Petroleum is a leading independent refiner, transporter and marketer of petroleum products. The company in its current form came into existence following the 2011 spin-off of Houston, TX-based Marathon Oil Corporation’s refining/sales business into a separate, independent and publicly-traded entity.

In August this year, Marathon Petroleum announced the sale of its Speedway business to Japanese retail group Seven & i Holdings — owner of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain — for $21 billion. Apart from providing the company with a much-needed cash infusion, the disposal of its Speedway-branded gas stations at a premium price is expected to enhance its shareholder value.

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