Argus Cuts Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) Stock To a “Hold” Rating


Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) Receives a Downgrade

Argus downgraded the rating for shares of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) to a”Hold” from a “Buy”. The rating change was sent to clients and investors in analysts note earlier today.

From a total of 23 analysts covering Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) stock, 13 rate it a ”Buy”, 1 a “Sell”, and 12 a ”Hold”. This means that 50% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $32 while the lowest target price is $15. The mean of all analyst targets is $22.88 with a 31.56% above today’s ($14.29) stock price. Marathon Oil Corporation was the topic of 14 analyst reports since July 21, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. JP Morgan initiated shares on December 9 with “Underweight” rating. Atlantic Securities upgraded MRO stock in a recent report from October 30 to “Overweight” rating. Finally, Bank of America downgraded the stock to “Buy” rating in a report issued on an August 24.

Approximately 5.59M shares of stock traded hands. Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) has declined 49.71% since May 8, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 46.69% the S&P500.

The overall sentiment of institutions has decreased to 0.84 in Q2 2015. Its down 0.14, from 0.98 in 2015Q2. The ratio dived, as 97 institutions have sold all the shares of Marathon Oil Corporation that they owned while 230 funds have taken shares off the table. 52 funds have purchased shares for the first time while 224 added to their positions. These institutions now hold 524.84 million shares or 3.66% less than the 544.76 million shares they owned in 2015Q2.

The Fund Encompass Capital Advisors Llc currently is holding shares equating to 6.42% of its total portfolio in Marathon Oil Corporation representing a total of 2.24 million shares. Another fund,Mitchell Group Inc, is holding a total of 2.42 million shares equating to 4.74% of their holdings. Additionally, Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management Llc has a 39.30 million share stake in Marathon Oil Corporation which represents 2.42% of their total portfolio. The Fund, Orbis Investment Management (U.S.) Llc, based out of California, has also built up a stake in the stock, which represents a total of 2.33% of their total portfolio. Finally Sir Capital Management L.P., a fund which is based in the state of New York reported a total holdings of 1.21 million shares.

Insider activity is a very important aspect to track on any stock. Going back to September 22, 2015, shareholders of Marathon Oil Corporation have witnessed 1 buying transaction, and a total of 0 sales equating to a net activity of approximately $76,975 . Wagner Patrick bought 5,000 shares worth approximately $76,975.

Marathon Oil Corporation is an energy firm based in Houston, Texas, with activities in North America, Europe and Africa. The company has a market cap of $9.98 billion. The Firm operates in three divisions: North America E&P segment, which explores for, produces and markets crude oil and condensate, NGLs and natural gas in North America; International E&P segment, which explores for, produces and markets crude oil and condensate, NGLs and natural gas outside of North America and produces and markets products manufactured from natural gas, such as LNG and methanol, in Egypt and Oil Sands Mining segment, which mines, extracts and transports bitumen from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada, and upgrades the bitumen to produce and market synthetic crude oil and vacuum gas oil. It currently has negative earnings. It has production activities in the United States, Egypt, Canada, the United Kingdom and Libya.

According to Zacks Investment Research, “Marathon Oil Corporation is a leading exploration and production company with extensive operations across four core regions – Africa, Middle East, Europe and North America. As of year-end 2014, Marathon had approximately 2.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels (BBOE) in proved reserves (80% liquids and 67% developed). The company’s business is organized into three segments – North America Exploration and Production, International Exploration and Production, and Oil Sands Mining. In July 2011, Marathon completed the spin-off of its refining/sales business into a separate, independent and publicly traded company Marathon Petroleum Corporation (Ticker: MPC).” Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO).