#7: Marathon Petroleum
The timing was perfect in a 2011 spinoff of Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) from its sister company Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), which engages mainly in exploration and production. MPC has doubled in the last 12 months and is up about 44% year-to-date as of this writing, while the exploration arm of Marathon has lagged the market in both time frames.
The reason? Refiners have seen their input costs fall as West Texas Intermediate crude prices have been soft, but margins have been great as gas prices remained high. The spread has started to narrow, so some worry the run might be over, but it’s hard to argue with the tape so far in 2013 for refiners like Marathon Petroleum.