Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one month, shares of Marathon Petroleum have declined and underperformed the broader industry. High operating and direct expenses associated with the heavy turnaround schedule have affected the refining margins of the company adversely. Glut of product inventories has translated to lower profitability in the refining sector. Further, we remain worried of the stiff regulations and cut-throat competition in the industry. We also need to factor the low return on equity of the downstream operator when compared to its peers. Moreover, it has become tougher for the U.S. refiners who are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Soaring costs arising from RIN obligations is likely to impact the financials of the company negatively.  These factors form the basis of our bearish stance on MPC.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on MPC. BidaskClub downgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Wednesday, April 19th. US Capital Advisors restated a “buy” rating on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 target price (down from $68.50) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Friday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $58.96.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) traded up 1.069% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $54.385. The company had a trading volume of 1,633,444 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $52.80 and its 200 day moving average is $50.62. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 52 week low of $35.97 and a 52 week high of $55.20. The company has a market capitalization of $28.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.979 and a beta of 1.56.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The oil and gas company reported $0.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.01) by $0.07. The company had revenue of $16.39 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.03 billion. Marathon Petroleum Corporation had a return on equity of 5.68% and a net margin of 1.80%. Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 27.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.07 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post $2.78 EPS for the current year.

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In other Marathon Petroleum Corporation news, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.25, for a total transaction of $213,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 61,757 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,288,560.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.33, for a total value of $1,358,250.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 33,568 shares of company stock worth $1,808,969 over the last ninety days. 1.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of MPC. Cullinan Associates Inc. raised its stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 0.9% in the first quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. now owns 129,810 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $6,561,000 after buying an additional 1,182 shares during the last quarter. Blockhouse Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $14,970,000. Wealthfront Inc. raised its stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 12,271 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $618,000 after buying an additional 812 shares during the last quarter. HITE Hedge Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at about $4,350,000. Finally, Hartford Investment Management Co. raised its stake in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 13.2% in the first quarter. Hartford Investment Management Co. now owns 147,217 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $7,440,000 after buying an additional 17,182 shares during the last quarter. 79.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is engaged in refining, marketing, retail and transportation businesses in the United States and the largest east of the Mississippi. The Company operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing; Speedway; and Midstream. The Refining & Marketing segment refines crude oil and other feedstocks at the Company’s seven refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States.

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Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC)

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