Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published 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 reports. BidaskClub lowered Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, August 19th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $65.00 price target on Marathon Petroleum Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Scotiabank set a $55.00 price target on Marathon Petroleum Corporation and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and set a $63.00 price target (up from $62.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $60.63.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) traded up 0.68% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.49. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,904,883 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $54.86 and its 200-day moving average is $53.01. The company has a market capitalization of $29.10 billion, a PE ratio of 34.28 and a beta of 1.56. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 52-week low of $40.01 and a 52-week high of $57.74.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.04 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $18.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 quarterly revenue was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.07 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post $3.27 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 11,450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.02, for a total transaction of $607,079.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MPC. CGOV Asset Management boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 30.0% during the 1st quarter. CGOV Asset Management now owns 13,000 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $875,000 after acquiring an additional 3,000 shares in the last quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 2.1% during the 1st quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 14,795 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $748,000 after acquiring an additional 298 shares in the last quarter. Kwmg LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 1.1% during the 1st quarter. Kwmg LLC now owns 25,179 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $1,273,000 after acquiring an additional 272 shares in the last quarter. WBI Investments Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 1,327.9% during the 1st quarter. WBI Investments Inc. now owns 96,623 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $4,884,000 after acquiring an additional 89,856 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 17.2% during the 1st quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 141,256 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $7,139,000 after acquiring an additional 20,730 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.24% of the company’s stock.

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.

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