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Sunoco's First-Quarter Earnings Jump on After-Tax Gain

Oil refiner and marketer Sunoco said Wednesday its first-quarter net income soared, boosted by a hefty gain from its sale of units in its limited partnership.

The company earned $175 million, or $1.44 per share, up from $79 million, or 59 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

The most recent quarter's results included a gain related to limited partnership units issued to the public. Without this item, the company earned $85 million, or 70 cents per share.

Revenue rose 8% to $9.31 billion from $8.59 billion a year ago.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.40 per share on sales of $9.87 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

While refining margins and operating income improved, "results were significantly limited by the major turnaround and expansion work at our Philadelphia refinery," said John G. Drosdick, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.

Shares fell $3.16, or 4.1%, to $74.54 in after-hours electronic trading. The stock closed up $1.94 to $77.70 in the regular trading session.

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