Shares of Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO) dropped 5.6% during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $14.50 and last traded at $14.56. Approximately 14,136,551 shares were traded during trading, an increase of 19% from the average daily volume of 11,845,820 shares. The stock had previously closed at $15.43.

MRO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $22.00 to $23.00 in a research report on Tuesday, April 16th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Marathon Oil in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Marathon Oil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Morgan Stanley set a $19.00 target price on shares of Marathon Oil and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 8th. Finally, Barclays dropped their target price on shares of Marathon Oil from $22.00 to $21.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Marathon Oil currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $23.20.

The company has a current ratio of 1.49, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. The stock has a market cap of $12.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.51, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 2.23.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The oil and gas producer reported $0.31 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.07 by $0.24. Marathon Oil had a net margin of 15.12% and a return on equity of 5.80%. The business had revenue of $1.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.25 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.18 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 30.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Marathon Oil Co. will post 0.79 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 10th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 15th will be given a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.37%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, May 14th. Marathon Oil’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.17%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MRO. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Marathon Oil in the 4th quarter valued at $122,747,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in Marathon Oil by 17.8% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 41,766,089 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $598,926,000 after purchasing an additional 6,298,905 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its holdings in Marathon Oil by 65.7% during the 1st quarter. Boston Partners now owns 12,677,229 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $211,836,000 after purchasing an additional 5,025,433 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. increased its holdings in Marathon Oil by 1,221.0% during the 1st quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 3,660,636 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $61,170,000 after purchasing an additional 3,383,518 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Marathon Oil by 4.2% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 71,239,026 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,190,404,000 after purchasing an additional 2,893,945 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.74% of the company’s stock.

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About Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States, Equatorial Guinea, the United Kingdom, and Libya. It operates in two segments, United States and International. The company engages in the exploration, production, and marketing of crude oil and condensate, natural gas liquids, and natural gas; and the production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas and methanol.

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