Stock buyback effort expands

Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s board of directors has approved an additional $2 billion repurchase of company stock through July 2016.

The buyback is in addition to a previous stock repurchase, which had $709 million remaining as of June 30.

“This $2 billion share repurchase is the fourth such authorization since becoming a stand-alone public company in July 2011,” said Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger.

The buyback, along with an increased dividend announced this week, “demonstrates our ongoing commitment to returning capital to shareholders, balanced with making value-enhancing investments in the business,” Heminger said.

Marathon’s board declared a dividend of 50 cents per share on common stock, a 19 percent increase. The dividend is payable Sept. 10 to shareholders of record on Aug. 20.

Marathon Petroleum said it may use various methods to make the stock repurchases, including open market repurchases, negotiated block transactions, accelerated share repurchases, or open market solicitations for shares.

The timing of repurchases will depend upon several factors, including market and business conditions, and repurchases may be discontinued at any time, Marathon said.

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