Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO) was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, May 11th. They presently have a $22.00 price objective on the oil and gas producer’s stock, down from their previous price objective of $25.00. Bank of America Corp’s target price indicates a potential upside of 75.44% from the stock’s current price.

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MRO. Canaccord Genuity set a $16.00 price objective on Marathon Oil and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, January 21st. Vetr raised Marathon Oil from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $19.81 target price for the company in a report on Monday, January 16th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $22.00 target price on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Wednesday, January 18th. Howard Weil raised Marathon Oil from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 1st. Finally, Scotiabank raised Marathon Oil from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $19.34.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

Shares of Marathon Oil (NYSE MRO) traded up 3.72% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $12.54. The stock had a trading volume of 17,448,833 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $14.09 and its 200 day moving average price is $16.05. The company’s market capitalization is $10.66 billion. Marathon Oil has a 1-year low of $12.04 and a 1-year high of $19.28. Marathon Oil also was the target of unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors acquired 9,435 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 102% compared to the average daily volume of 4,674 call options.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.07) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.08) by $0.01. Marathon Oil had a negative return on equity of 4.91% and a negative net margin of 32.98%. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.43) EPS. Marathon Oil’s revenue for the quarter was up 88.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Marathon Oil will post ($0.21) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 12th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 17th will be given a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, May 15th. Marathon Oil’s payout ratio is -9.26%.

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A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRO. Independent Advisor Alliance purchased a new stake in Marathon Oil during the fourth quarter worth about $103,000. Todd Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Marathon Oil during the third quarter worth about $257,000. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new stake in Marathon Oil during the first quarter worth about $103,000. FTB Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Marathon Oil by 15.6% in the third quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 7,868 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 1,063 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Exane Derivatives increased its stake in Marathon Oil by 38.9% in the first quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 9,907 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $157,000 after buying an additional 2,775 shares in the last quarter. 81.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Marathon Oil 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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