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Independent oil refiner and marketer Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC - Analyst Report) reported receipt of authorization from its board of directors to buy back additional $2 billion stocks. The company will carry out the repurchase program through Sep 2015, but the timing is likely to be subject to the conditions of the market and business.

Marathon Petroleum reveals that the current permission is an extension of the share repurchases approval given earlier by the board of directors. Moreover, as of Jun 30, 2013, the company had remaining $1.3 billion shares to be repurchased, following the previous authorization.

Marathon Petroleum is expected to employ negotiated block transactions and open market operations along with accelerated share buyback methods to carry forward the buyback program.

The share repurchases represents management's continuous aim to return capital to the stockholders.

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum Corporation operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing, Speedway (Retail) and Pipeline Transportation. Marathon Petroleum is the fourth largest domestic refiner. A major advantage for the company is its proprietary access to pipelines, which inhibits lower-cost competitors from supplying Marathon Petroleum's key markets.

On the flip side, the inherent volatility of the refining business reduces the accuracy and reliability of long-term earnings and revenue estimates of the company.

Marathon Petroleum currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Meanwhile, one can have a look at better-performing energy firms like Stone Energy Corp. (SGY - Analyst Report), China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP - Analyst Report) and Dril-Quip Inc. (DRQ - Analyst Report). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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