Marathon Petroleum (MPC) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Petroleum recently beat second-quarter expectations on stronger fuel margin, which rose to $15.40 per barrel from $11.32 a year ago. Better-than-expected operating income from the Midstream unit also drove the outperformance. Meanwhile, MPC's much-anticipated merger withAndeavor is expected to close in early fourth quarter. Apart from making MPC the top independent refiner in the U.S., the $23.3 billion deal is set to create a nationwide refining giant in terms of geographic foothold with an enviable retail and marketing portfolio. However, lower fuel margin and declining income from its retail division continues to be a problem. The company is also experiencing an upswing in product cost that is reflected in higher total expenses. Therefore, despite MPC's fantastic growth prospects, the stock is expected to perform in line with the broader market.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $80.00 to $88.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 1st. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “market perform” rating and issued a $80.00 target price (up previously from $73.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a report on Tuesday, May 1st. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $75.00 to $95.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 3rd. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $95.00 price target for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $98.00 to $102.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.47.

MPC stock traded up $1.51 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $80.27. The stock had a trading volume of 222,026 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,307,868. The firm has a market cap of $34.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.13, a PEG ratio of 1.27 and a beta of 1.40. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. Marathon Petroleum has a 1-year low of $49.30 and a 1-year high of $83.33.

Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The oil and gas company reported $2.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.98 by $0.29. The business had revenue of $22.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.14 billion. Marathon Petroleum had a net margin of 4.89% and a return on equity of 12.83%. Marathon Petroleum’s revenue for the quarter was up 22.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. research analysts expect that Marathon Petroleum will post 5.13 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Marathon Petroleum news, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 24,818 shares of Marathon Petroleum stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $1,972,286.46. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 51,869 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,122,029.43. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 1.09% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Marathon Petroleum by 44.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 7,506,332 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $526,645,000 after acquiring an additional 2,297,774 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in Marathon Petroleum by 59.5% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,798,607 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $406,829,000 after purchasing an additional 2,162,851 shares in the last quarter. PointState Capital LP bought a new stake in Marathon Petroleum in the 2nd quarter worth about $378,482,000. LSV Asset Management grew its position in Marathon Petroleum by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,426,500 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $310,563,000 after purchasing an additional 102,276 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Iridian Asset Management LLC CT grew its position in Marathon Petroleum by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 3,681,964 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $258,327,000 after purchasing an additional 164,278 shares in the last quarter. 80.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Marathon Petroleum Company Profile

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, marketing, retailing, and transporting petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Midstream. It refines crude oil and other feed stocks at its six refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States; and purchases refined products and ethanol for resale.

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