Marathon Oil Corp.'s (MRO) second-quarter earnings fell 47% as sharply lower prices from last year's peak more than offset most increases in volume, helping push earnings below analysts' expectations.

But the company's strong presence overseas continued to help it weather the sharp downturn in North America. For the year, Marathon said it expects "significant production growth" from projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Norway and Equatorial Guinea. The Houston-based company stood apart from its peers in reporting an improvement in its refining and marketing segment.

Shares gained 2.20% to $32.96 as revenue was well above analysts' expectations.

While Marathon decided not to proceed with last year's plan to split into two separate production and refining companies, it moved ahead with plans to shed some assets. Marathon said Monday it is continuing to review its portfolio.

The company reported its second-quarter profit declined to $413 million, or 58 cents a share, from $774 million, or $1.08 a share, a year earlier. Excluding effects such as divestiture gains, earnings slumped to 35 cents a share from $1.20.

Revenue decreased 40% to $13.36 billion even as sales volumes from continuing operations jumped 26%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently were looking for earnings of 53 cents on revenue of $11.11 billion.

Marathon's U.S. exploration and production business swung to a loss while the international segment saw a 44% profit drop. Its refining business saw slightly higher earnings and margins on prior-year derivative losses.

Its refining, marketing and transportation segment made $165 million compared to $158 million in the same quarter last year. The company attributed the results to a slightly increased gross refining and marketing margin, a decrease in manufacturing costs (resulting in lower energy costs at refineries) and a small pre-tax derivative gain.

Marathon's refining business fared better than others, in part because several of the company's plants are located in the Midwest, which saw relatively better margins than other regions, said analyst Fadel Gheit, an analyst with Oppenheimer. Margins on the East Coast, Gulf Coast and California were tighter.

Waning demand for refined products, caused by the recession, has hit other energy companies hard.

Last week, large independent refiners Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) and Tesoro Corp. (TSO) posted losses, and major oil companies Chevron Corp. (CVX), Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and ConocoPhillips (COP) also posted poor results in the segment.

-By Susan Daker, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208;

(Tess Stynes contributed to this report.)