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Murphy USA Inc. of El Dorado on Wednesday reported first-quarter net income of $55.3 million, down 38% from the same quarter last year, but earnings per share beat Wall Street expectations.
The publicly traded convenience store chain and gasoline retailer reported earnings per share of $2.01, down from $2.92 in the same quarter last year but ahead of analysts expectations of $1.53, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Revenue was $3.54 billion, up 11% from the same quarter last year and ahead of analysts expectations of $3.45 billion.
“The new year started off with tremendous momentum as first quarter results underscore the strength of our core business alongside the realities of our industry post-COVID 19,” President and CEO Andrew Clyde said in a news release.
“Fuel margins showed remarkable resilience as product prices rose approximately 55 cents during the quarter and continued to demonstrate the higher breakeven economics of independent retailers,” he said. “As we lap the initial impact of COVID-19, we are maintaining market share in critical categories like fuel and tobacco while generating higher growth from the core non-tobacco business.”
During the quarter, the company began integrating the operations of QuickChek Corp., a 50-year-old family-owned chain of 157 stores in central and northern New Jersey and the New York metro. Murphy USA bought the company in December for $645 million in cash, giving it a foothold in the Northeast.
Clyde said executives have been “impressed by both the operational expertise of the QuickChek team and the full opportunity set for synergy capture.”
The company noted that retail fuel volumes were lower during the quarter compared to previous year volumes due to February’s winter weather and a decrease in the overall traffic volumes due to COVID-19. That was “partially offset “by the inclusion of QuickChek fuel volumes, according to the company.
Murphy USA shares (NYSE: MUSA) have increased almost 9% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $142.47, a climb of 30% in the last 12 months.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)