Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Petroleum's scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network have helped the company to overcome the challenging market conditions.  The downstream operator has handily outperformed the industry over the past 6 months- and 1-year periods. Further, management's positive update on asset dropdowns highlights MPC’s commitment to return more value to shareholders. MPC’s decision to retain its Speedway stores will help it generate long-term returns for shareholders due to healthy merchandise margins. However, the company’s 'Refining’ segment – the main contributor to MPC earnings – has been weighed down by depressed margins. MPC also saw an upswing in product cost that was reflected in higher total expenses. Further, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Thus we take cautious stance on MPC.”

MPC has been the topic of several other research reports. Scotiabank restated a “hold” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Friday, September 1st. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, August 26th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $60.50.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) traded up 1.38% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $56.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,307,499 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $54.42 and a 200-day moving average of $52.87. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 1-year low of $40.01 and a 1-year high of $57.02. The company has a market capitalization of $28.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.69 and a beta of 1.56.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.01). Marathon Petroleum Corporation had a net margin of 1.34% and a return on equity of 5.52%. The firm had revenue of $18.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $19.98 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post $3.06 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 11,450 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.02, for a total transaction of $607,079.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 2,779.4% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 56,121,367 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $2,836,372,000 after buying an additional 54,172,304 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 4.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 39,255,717 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $2,054,251,000 after buying an additional 1,544,114 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its holdings in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 0.4% during the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 28,029,983 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,416,636,000 after buying an additional 107,894 shares in the last quarter. Kensico Capital Management Corp boosted its holdings in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 7.7% during the first quarter. Kensico Capital Management Corp now owns 9,260,000 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $468,000,000 after buying an additional 660,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Iridian Asset Management LLC CT boosted its holdings in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 8.0% during the second quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 8,327,167 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $435,761,000 after buying an additional 619,548 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.24% of the company’s stock.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation Company Profile

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is engaged in refining, marketing, retail and transportation businesses in the United States and the largest east of the Mississippi. The Company operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing; Speedway; and Midstream. The Refining & Marketing segment refines crude oil and other feedstocks at the Company’s seven refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC)

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