U.S. refiners are expected to show higher earnings for the third quarter as margins to sell gasoline and diesel have improved despite the surging cost of crude oil, analysts said. After more than a year of depressed fuel demand, gasoline and distillate consumption is back in line with five-year averages in the United States, the world’s largest fuel consumer. That has boosted margins on refined products to more than double what those companies were making at this time a year ago. The seven largest independent U.S. refining companies, including giants Marathon Petroleum (MPC.N) and Valero Energy (VLO.N) , are projected to post an average earnings-per-share gain of 66 cents, versus a loss of $1.32 for the third quarter of 2020, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (GRAPHIC: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-REFINERIES/EARNINGS-OUTLOOK/mopanjqyzva/ ) Those gains are driven by the 3-2-1 crack spread, a proxy for refining margins, which assumes […]