Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO) was the target of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Stock traders purchased 25,574 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 308% compared to the typical volume of 6,266 call options.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) traded down 0.21% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $14.53. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 13,010,423 shares. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $15.12 and its 200 day moving average price is $16.25. Marathon Oil has a 52 week low of $12.22 and a 52 week high of $19.28. The firm’s market capitalization is $12.35 billion.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.07) EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.08) by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.29 billion. Marathon Oil had a negative net margin of 32.98% and a negative return on equity of 4.91%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 88.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.43) earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Marathon Oil will post ($0.17) earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 17th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, May 15th. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.38%. Marathon Oil’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -9.26%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Quantbot Technologies LP increased its position in Marathon Oil by 99.4% in the third quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 72,896 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $1,152,000 after buying an additional 36,345 shares during the period. ETRADE Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Marathon Oil by 11.0% in the third quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 148,808 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $2,353,000 after buying an additional 14,765 shares during the last quarter. Frontier Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil during the fourth quarter worth approximately $192,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,963,000. Finally, Todd Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Oil during the third quarter worth approximately $257,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.96% of the company’s stock.

MRO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Canaccord Genuity set a $16.00 price objective on Marathon Oil and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 11th. Scotiabank set a $21.00 price objective on Marathon Oil and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 6th. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Marathon Oil in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $17.00 price objective on the stock. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $17.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Oil in a research report on Thursday, April 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC downgraded Marathon Oil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $22.00 to $16.00 in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $19.09.

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About Marathon Oil

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.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:MRO

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