Sunoco Inc., which announced plans this week to merge with Energy Transfer Partners L.P., reported first-quarter net income on Wednesday of $248 million, or $2.32 per share, compared to a net loss of $101million or 84 cents per share a year ago.

When special items were excluded, the company lost $53 million for the quarter. Special items included gains on inventory and a $104 million gain related to the participation payment received in April in connection with the sale of its Toledo refinery in March 2011.

Sunoco's refining and supply unit, which the company plans to exit before the merger is completed, lost $87 million, compared to a loss of $138 million a year ago. The company attributed the improvement to lower expenses because of the idling of the Marcus Hook refinery in December.— Andrew Maykuth