Murphy USA reported strong third quarter earnings, but year-to-date profit comparisons to 2020 lagged. The El Dorado-based retail gasoline and convenience store operator posted third quarter net income of $104.0 million, up from $66.9 million a year ago.
For the first three fiscal quarters of 2021, Murphy USA recorded $288.1 million in net income versus $325.1 million in the comparable period for 2020. Diluted earnings per share were $3.98 in the third quarter and $10.72 for the nine-month reporting period.
“Despite continued supply chain constraints and operational hurdles, Murphy USA’s exceptional third-quarter performance demonstrates our ability to compete and win in a challenging environment,” said President and CEO Andrew Clyde. “We grew both fuel volumes and margins versus the prior year, expanded same-store merchandise contribution, and introduced targeted investments in labor to support our employees and help maintain our high standards of customer service. Our outlook for the business remains robust and we expect to generate strong free cash which will enable continued organic growth and shareholder distributions, including share repurchase, and as announced this afternoon, an increase in our quarterly dividend to $0.29 per share from $0.25 per share.”
Other key quarterly highlights included:
- Total fuel contribution (retail fuel margin plus product supply and wholesale results) for Q3 2021 was 26.6 cpg, compared to 22.3 cpg in Q3 2020;
- Total retail gallons increased 11.4% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020, while volumes on a same store sales basis increased 1.9%;
- Merchandise contribution dollars increased 58.6% to $187.3 million compared to the prior-year quarter, primarily attributable to the QuickChek acquisition; and
- Food and beverage contribution margin increased significantly to 14.8% of total merchandise contribution dollars in Q3 2021 compared to 0.9% in the prior year period.
During the third quarter of 2021, Murphy USA opened four new Murphy Express stores and three QuickChek stores. There are 16 new Murphy Express sites, three new QuickChek sites, and 12 raze-and-rebuild Murphy USA sites currently under construction.
Shares of Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) closed trading Wednesday (Oct. 27) at $165.68. The company’s stock has traded between a low of $117.08 per share and a high of $179.44.