Marathon Oil (MRO) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $21.00 price objective on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.58% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Oil is a leading energy firm with a large and geographically-diverse reserve base and solid project pipeline. Shares of Marathon Oil have rallied over 62% in the last six months, outperforming the broader industry's gain of 30%. The company has successfully positioned itself into the Delaware Basin and STACK/SCOOP resource plays while exiting the oil sands and conventional assets with limited upside. Driven by the robust performance in the last quarter, MRO raised its production guidance for 2017 to 350,000-360,000 BOE/d. Additionally, the company possesses a healthy balance sheet, which helps it to capitalize on investment opportunities. Marathon Oil displays a strong earnings surprise history on robust growth momentum and strong execution. The company is also witnessing surging earning estimates revisions lately. All these factors form the basis of our bullish stance on the prospects of the stock.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $21.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil in a research note on Thursday. Bank of America upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $21.00 price target for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Seaport Global Securities upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $15.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on shares of Marathon Oil in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $20.00 price target for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.84.

Marathon Oil (MRO) traded up $0.22 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $18.82. 10,312,200 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 10,605,122. The company has a market cap of $15,990.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -7.35, a P/E/G ratio of 32.75 and a beta of 2.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 2.02 and a current ratio of 2.09. Marathon Oil has a 1-year low of $10.55 and a 1-year high of $18.96.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.08) earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.14) by $0.06. The business had revenue of $1.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.04 billion. Marathon Oil had a negative net margin of 148.07% and a negative return on equity of 3.02%. Marathon Oil’s revenue was up 26.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.23) EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Marathon Oil will post -0.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Wealthfront Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Oil by 316.1% in the second quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 77,055 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $913,000 after buying an additional 58,536 shares during the last quarter. Wendell David Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil in the third quarter worth approximately $600,000. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Oil by 2.8% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 50,063,249 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $593,258,000 after buying an additional 1,350,863 shares during the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil in the second quarter worth approximately $392,000. Finally, Virtu KCG Holdings LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Oil by 467.8% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 237,891 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,819,000 after buying an additional 195,996 shares during the last quarter. 80.50% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil Corporation is an exploration and production (E&P) company. The Company operates through three segments: North America E&P, International E&P and Oil Sands Mining. The North America E&P segment explores for, produces and markets crude oil and condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and natural gas in North America.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

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