Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $17.00 price objective on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 5.20% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Oil is a leading energy firm with a large and geographically-diverse reserve base and solid project pipeline. The company has successfully positioned itself into the Delaware Basin and STACK/SCOOP resource plays while exiting the oil sands and conventional assets with limited upside. MRO delivered solid third quarter results on increased production activities especially from the U.S. markets.  Driven by the robust performance, MRO has also raised its production guidance for the full year to 350,000-360,000 BOE/d.  Additionally, the company possesses a healthy balance sheet, which helps it to capitalize on investment opportunities. Marathon Oil displays a strong earnings surprise history on robust growth momentum and strong execution. As such, we take a bullish stance on the prospects of the stock.”

MRO has been the topic of a number of other reports. Citigroup Inc. decreased their price objective on Marathon Oil Corporation from $15.00 to $14.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, July 21st. Morgan Stanley set a $15.00 price objective on Marathon Oil Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Barclays PLC set a $11.00 price objective on Marathon Oil Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 4th. Jefferies Group LLC increased their target price on Marathon Oil Corporation from $14.00 to $16.50 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $17.00 target price on Marathon Oil Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $17.34.

Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) opened at $16.16 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 2.09 and a quick ratio of 2.02. Marathon Oil Corporation has a 1-year low of $10.55 and a 1-year high of $19.28.

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.08) EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.14) by $0.06. Marathon Oil Corporation had a negative return on equity of 3.02% and a negative net margin of 148.07%. The firm had revenue of $1.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.04 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.23) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Marathon Oil Corporation will post -0.42 EPS for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its stake in Marathon Oil Corporation by 3.6% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 1,393,822 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $22,022,000 after acquiring an additional 47,805 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Marathon Oil Corporation by 79.1% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 292,536 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $4,622,000 after acquiring an additional 129,187 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB grew its stake in Marathon Oil Corporation by 9.8% in the second quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 68,966 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $817,000 after acquiring an additional 6,132 shares during the period. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in Marathon Oil Corporation in the second quarter valued at approximately $547,000. Finally, Salem Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Marathon Oil Corporation by 0.8% in the second quarter. Salem Capital Management Inc. now owns 152,750 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $1,810,000 after acquiring an additional 1,250 shares during the period. 81.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Marathon Oil Corporation 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO)

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