Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The firm currently has a $21.00 price target on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.58% from the company’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. Shares of Marathon Oil have rallied over 62% in the last six months, outperforming the broader industry's gain of 30%. 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. Driven by the robust performance in the last quarter, MRO raised its production guidance for 2017 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. The company is also witnessing surging earning estimates revisions lately. All these factors form the basis of our bullish stance on the prospects of the stock.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on MRO. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $21.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Thursday. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $12.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Friday, October 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $16.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Societe Generale raised shares of Marathon Oil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.84.

Shares of Marathon Oil (NYSE MRO) traded up $0.22 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $18.82. 10,312,200 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,605,122. 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 has a twelve month low of $10.55 and a twelve month high of $18.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $15,990.00, a P/E ratio of -7.35, a P/E/G ratio of 32.75 and a beta of 2.38.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.08) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.06. Marathon Oil had a negative net margin of 148.07% and a negative return on equity of 3.02%. The business had revenue of $1.25 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.04 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.23) earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that Marathon Oil will post -0.31 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Mackenzie Financial Corp bought a new stake in Marathon Oil in the third quarter worth $149,000. Glenview Trust Co increased its position in Marathon Oil by 13.5% in the second quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 13,044 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $155,000 after purchasing an additional 1,550 shares during the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Marathon Oil in the third quarter worth $159,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its position in Marathon Oil by 21.6% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 14,011 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $166,000 after purchasing an additional 2,486 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Intact Investment Management Inc. bought a new stake in Marathon Oil in the third quarter worth $173,000. Institutional investors own 80.50% of the company’s stock.

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Marathon Oil 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.

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