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

According to Zacks, “Marathon Petroleum's scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network have helped the company to overcome the challenging market conditions. As a reflection, the downstream operator has handily outperformed the broader industry over the past 6 months- and 1-year periods. Further, management's positive update on asset dropdowns highlights MPC’s commitment to return more value to shareholders. However, the Findlay-headquartered company’s 'Refining’ segment – the main contributor to Marathon Petroleum earnings – has been weighed down by depressed margins. To make matters worse, the downstream operator saw an upswing in product cost that was reflected in higher total expenses. Last but not the least, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. These factors form the basis of our cautious stance on MPC.”

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $54.83 price objective (down from $65.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Thursday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Friday, July 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Thursday, June 1st. BidaskClub upgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target (down from $68.50) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $58.62.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) traded down 1.60% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $54.90. The company had a trading volume of 3,182,588 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $27.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.61 and a beta of 1.56. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 52 week low of $38.37 and a 52 week high of $56.81. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $53.87 and a 200 day moving average price of $51.38.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The oil and gas company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.04 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $18.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.98 billion. Marathon Petroleum Corporation had a return on equity of 5.52% and a net margin of 1.34%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.07 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post $2.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Marathon Petroleum Corporation news, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 25,000 shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.33, for a total transaction of $1,358,250.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 4,000 shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.25, for a total value 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 33,568 shares of company stock valued at $1,808,969. 1.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Capital Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 0.4% in the first quarter. Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,401 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $324,000 after buying an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp increased its position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 413.6% in the first quarter. Tompkins Financial Corp now owns 3,595 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 2,895 shares during the last quarter. Bank of The West increased its position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 28.4% in the first quarter. Bank of The West now owns 49,717 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,512,000 after buying an additional 10,990 shares during the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 3.4% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 59,155 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $2,990,000 after buying an additional 1,960 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pinnacle Bank purchased a new position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the first quarter valued at approximately $124,000. 81.58% of the stock is 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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