Marathon Oil (MRO) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $19.00 price objective on the oil and gas producer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Oil’s increased focus on low cost-high margin resource shales including Oklahoma, Eagle Ford, Bakken and Northern Delaware provides for visible production growth over the coming years. The firm expects total output in 2019 to increase 10% from a year ago, targeting 12% growth in the United States. The company's divestment of non-core holdings have helped it to use the deal proceeds to expand in high-return and liquid-rich areas, thereby positioning itself for higher earnings and better growth prospects. Marathon Oil is committed to strengthening its financials by debt reduction and looks poised for strong free cash flow generation through the end of the decade. As such, the analysts are bullish on the sttock. “

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on MRO. Barclays decreased their target price on shares of Marathon Oil from $22.00 to $21.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Royal Bank of Canada raised shares of Marathon Oil from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $22.00 to $23.00 in a research note on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an overweight rating on shares of Marathon Oil in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. TheStreet raised shares of Marathon Oil from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 26th. Finally, Argus decreased their target price on shares of Marathon Oil from $25.00 to $22.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, February 25th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $23.27.

Shares of NYSE:MRO opened at $17.47 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $14.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.61, a PEG ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 2.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 1.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. Marathon Oil has a 1 year low of $12.57 and a 1 year high of $24.20.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 13th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.42 billion. Marathon Oil had a net margin of 16.65% and a return on equity of 4.97%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 27.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.07 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Marathon Oil will post 0.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. American Research & Management Co. acquired a new position in shares of Marathon Oil during the first quarter worth $50,000. Pennsylvania Trust Co acquired a new position in shares of Marathon Oil during the first quarter worth $996,000. Virtu Financial LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Marathon Oil by 297.1% during the first quarter. Virtu Financial LLC now owns 47,290 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $790,000 after purchasing an additional 35,382 shares during the period. First Manhattan Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Marathon Oil by 13.4% during the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 19,766 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $330,000 after purchasing an additional 2,339 shares during the period. Finally, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ADV acquired a new position in Marathon Oil in the first quarter valued at $807,000. Institutional investors own 81.63% of the company’s stock.

About Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States, Equatorial Guinea, the United Kingdom, and Libya. It operates in two segments, United States and International. The company engages in the exploration, production, and marketing of crude oil and condensate, natural gas liquids, and natural gas; and the production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas and methanol.

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