Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday.

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. As a reflection, the downstream operator has handily outperformed the broader 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. However, the Findlay-headquartered company’s 'Refining’ segment – the main contributor to Marathon Petroleum earnings – has been weighed down by depressed margins. To make matters worse, the downstream operator saw an upswing in product cost that was reflected in higher total expenses. Last but not the least, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. These factors form the basis of our cautious stance on MPC.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on MPC. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Cowen and Company raised their price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. US Capital Advisors restated a “buy” rating on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective (down from $68.50) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have given a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $58.62.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) traded down 1.27% on Monday, hitting $55.08. 783,368 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $27.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.71 and a beta of 1.56. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 12 month low of $38.37 and a 12 month high of $56.81. The company has a 50-day moving average of $53.87 and a 200 day moving average of $51.38.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $18.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.98 billion. Marathon Petroleum Corporation had a net margin of 1.34% and a return on equity of 5.52%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.07 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post $2.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Marathon Petroleum Corporation news, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 25,000 shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.33, for a total value of $1,358,250.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 4,000 shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.25, for a total transaction of $213,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 61,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,288,560.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 33,568 shares of company stock valued at $1,808,969 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,036 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 484.9% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 2,047 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,697 shares during the last quarter. Lee Financial Co increased its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 2.4% in the second quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 2,048 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 12.3% in the first quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,287 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jacobi Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 32.2% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 2,340 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 570 shares during the last quarter. 81.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Marathon Petroleum Corporation

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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