Marathon Oil Corporation Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (NYSE:MRO)

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors bought 1,294 call options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 127% compared to the average volume of 569 call options.

Shares of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE MRO) opened at 12.20 on Thursday. The firm’s market cap is $10.37 billion. The company has a 50 day moving average of $11.91 and a 200-day moving average of $14.51. Marathon Oil Corporation has a 12-month low of $11.20 and a 12-month high of $19.28.

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.24) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $1.06 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.03 billion. Marathon Oil Corporation had a negative return on equity of 2.86% and a negative net margin of 140.22%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted ($0.23) earnings per share. Analysts predict that Marathon Oil Corporation will post ($0.40) EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 11th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 16th will be issued a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 14th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.64%. Marathon Oil Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently -2.55%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $103,000. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC boosted its position in shares of Marathon Oil Corporation by 33.8% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 9,054 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 2,287 shares during the period. Dupont Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $122,000. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Marathon Oil Corporation by 27.6% in the second quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 12,453 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 2,693 shares during the period. Finally, IBM Retirement Fund purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil Corporation during the second quarter valued at about $149,000. 81.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages have commented on MRO. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $17.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of Marathon Oil Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. They set a “hold” rating and a $17.00 price target on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Marathon Oil Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $18.08 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, April 14th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $15.00 price target (down previously from $17.00) on shares of Marathon Oil Corporation in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut shares of Marathon Oil Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the company from $25.00 to $22.00 in a research report on Thursday, May 11th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $17.30.

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Marathon Oil Corporation Company Profile

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.

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