Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO)’s share price gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $15.65, but opened at $15.70. Marathon Oil Corp. shares last traded at $16.63, with a volume of 15,630,703 shares.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on MRO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Marathon Oil Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded Marathon Oil Corp. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $14.90 to $21.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Citigroup Inc. upgraded Marathon Oil Corp. to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $18.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, July 7th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on Marathon Oil Corp. from $14.00 to $16.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, July 8th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $18.50 target price (up from $18.00) on shares of Marathon Oil Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, June 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Marathon Oil Corp. has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $17.76.

The stock’s market cap is $14.23 billion. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $14.55 and its 200 day moving average is $12.40.

Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported ($0.20) EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.25) by $0.05. The company earned $1.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.23) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 15.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Marathon Oil Corp. will post ($0.95) EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 12th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, August 15th.

A number of institutional investors recently modified their holdings of MRO. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. increased its position in Marathon Oil Corp. by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 89,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,132,000 after buying an additional 5,791 shares during the last quarter. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. acquired a new position in Marathon Oil Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,953,000. Bridgewater Associates LP increased its position in Marathon Oil Corp. by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 209,800 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,641,000 after buying an additional 17,600 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its position in Marathon Oil Corp. by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 419,023 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,276,000 after buying an additional 9,280 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Marathon Oil Corp. by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 999,820 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,587,000 after buying an additional 51,475 shares during the last quarter.

Marathon Oil Corporation is an exploration and production company with operations in North America, Europe and Africa. The Company operates through three segments: North America E&P (N.A. E&P), International E&P (Int’l E&P), and Oil Sands Mining (OSM). The N.A. 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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