Murphy USA Inc. said Wednesday that improved margins on both fuel and merchandise boosted its second-quarter profit by 42%.
But the El Dorado-based convenience store and gas station chain said the results were partially offset by factors including higher store operating expenses and higher payment fees.
Murphy USA posted net income of $183.3 million, or $7.53 per share, for the quarter that ended June 30, compared to net income of $128.8 million, or $4.79 per share, a year ago.
The company's earnings per share far exceeded the average estimate of $4.41 expected by six analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue jumped 51.8% from last year's second quarter, to $6.77 billion.
Murphy USA's shares rose $2.07 or 0.78%, to close Wednesday at $266.88 on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have traded between $145.24 and $277.56 in the past year.
The company released its second-quarter report after the stock markets closed Wednesday.
"With inflation above its 40-year high, consumers need affordable, everyday low prices on goods and services now more than ever," said Andrew Clyde, the company's president and chief executive officer.
Clyde said in a news release that the quarter's results "affirm that Murphy USA is one of the top value brands that consumers trust to meet their needs." The company's second-quarter momentum "accelerated into July as customers benefit from falling fuel prices while employee engagement is supported by a special summer incentive program," Clyde said.
Total retail gallons of fuel sold climbed 7.8% over the previous year to 1.2 billion gallons. Volumes on same-store sales, which are sales at stores open at least a year, increased 4.8%.
Total merchandise sales rose 3.24% to $995 million, and sales of food and beverages grew 10.5%.
Operating expenses including stores were $43.3 million, or 21%, higher than in last year's second quarter. Murphy USA attributed this mainly to higher payment fees, employee-related expenses and store maintenance costs.
The company paid a quarterly cash dividend on June 1 of $0.31 per share, up 7% from the previous quarter. It also repurchased about 900,000 shares at an average price of $231.60 per share, for a total of $203.6 million.
Murphy USA opened nine stores in the second quarter, bringing its total network to 1,695 locations, the company said. Another 38 stores are under construction. Most are near one of Bentonville-based Walmart Inc.'s Supercenters.
Company executives hosted a conference call Thursday to discuss the second-quarter results. The call or a transcript of it may be accessed through a webcast at http://ir.corporate.murphyusa.com. Earnings and other investor-related materials will be posted at the same website.