Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO – Get Free Report) has earned an average recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from the fourteen ratings firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, eleven have issued a buy recommendation and one has given a strong buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $33.09.
MRO has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $31.00 to $32.50 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Bank of America lifted their price objective on shares of Marathon Oil from $28.00 to $30.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Benchmark dropped their price objective on shares of Marathon Oil from $32.00 to $28.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 12th. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $35.00 to $37.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $26.00 to $27.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 2nd.
Marathon Oil Stock Performance
Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO – Get Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.08. Marathon Oil had a net margin of 24.96% and a return on equity of 15.41%. The firm had revenue of $1.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 19.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Marathon Oil will post 2.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Marathon Oil announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, November 1st that authorizes the company to buyback $2.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the oil and gas producer to purchase up to 14.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
Marathon Oil Increases Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th will be paid a $0.11 dividend. This represents a $0.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.75%. This is a boost from Marathon Oil’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 14th. Marathon Oil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 14.81%.
Insider Activity at Marathon Oil
In related news, VP Michael A. Henderson sold 20,000 shares of Marathon Oil stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.91, for a total transaction of $538,200.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 131,254 shares in the company, valued at $3,532,045.14. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. In other Marathon Oil news, VP Michael A. Henderson sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $26.91, for a total value of $538,200.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 131,254 shares in the company, valued at $3,532,045.14. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Lee M. Tillman sold 159,722 shares of Marathon Oil stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.36, for a total value of $4,369,993.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 710,383 shares in the company, valued at approximately $19,436,078.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 446,226 shares of company stock worth $12,067,164 over the last ninety days. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On Marathon Oil
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 51.4% during the third quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 27,988,152 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $748,683,000 after purchasing an additional 9,504,754 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Marathon Oil by 1,220.4% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 8,754,588 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $219,828,000 after acquiring an additional 8,091,570 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in shares of Marathon Oil by 1,134.4% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,457,542 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $130,763,000 after acquiring an additional 5,015,428 shares during the period. Woodline Partners LP bought a new stake in shares of Marathon Oil in the second quarter valued at approximately $89,591,000. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Marathon Oil by 51.7% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 9,661,473 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $231,489,000 after acquiring an additional 3,291,349 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 76.62% of the company’s stock.
About Marathon Oil
Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an independent exploration and production company in the United States and internationally. 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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