Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $21.00 price objective on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.58% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Marathon Oil is a leading energy firm with a large and geographically-diverse reserve base and solid project pipeline. Shares of Marathon Oil have rallied over 62% in the last six months, outperforming the broader industry's gain of 30%. The company has successfully positioned itself into the Delaware Basin and STACK/SCOOP resource plays while exiting the oil sands and conventional assets with limited upside. Driven by the robust performance in the last quarter, MRO raised its production guidance for 2017 to 350,000-360,000 BOE/d. Additionally, the company possesses a healthy balance sheet, which helps it to capitalize on investment opportunities. Marathon Oil displays a strong earnings surprise history on robust growth momentum and strong execution. The company is also witnessing surging earning estimates revisions lately. All these factors form the basis of our bullish stance on the prospects of the stock.”

Several other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 5th. Barclays increased their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $11.00 to $13.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Citigroup lowered shares of Marathon Oil from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $14.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Scotiabank set a $19.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $10.00 price target on shares of Marathon Oil and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 5th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Marathon Oil has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $16.84.

Shares of Marathon Oil (NYSE MRO) traded up $0.22 on Monday, reaching $18.82. 10,311,728 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 10,605,122. The company has a quick ratio of 2.02, a current ratio of 2.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. Marathon Oil has a one year low of $10.55 and a one year high of $18.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $15,990.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -7.35, a P/E/G ratio of 32.75 and a beta of 2.38.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.08) earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.06. Marathon Oil had a negative net margin of 148.07% and a negative return on equity of 3.02%. The company had revenue of $1.25 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.04 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.23) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Marathon Oil will post -0.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sentry Investment Management LLC boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 1.1% during the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 66,441 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $787,000 after acquiring an additional 702 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 2.7% during the second quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 45,027 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $534,000 after acquiring an additional 1,188 shares during the last quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 4.5% during the second quarter. First Allied Advisory Services Inc. now owns 33,154 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $396,000 after acquiring an additional 1,434 shares during the last quarter. Glenview Trust Co boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 13.5% during the second quarter. Glenview Trust Co now owns 13,044 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $155,000 after acquiring an additional 1,550 shares during the last quarter. Finally, 1st Global Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Marathon Oil by 3.3% during the second quarter. 1st Global Advisors Inc. now owns 52,744 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $625,000 after acquiring an additional 1,686 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.50% of the company’s stock.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This piece of content was first posted by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are accessing this piece of content on another domain, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of international trademark & copyright legislation. The legal version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2018/01/15/marathon-oil-mro-raised-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research.html.

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.

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Marathon Oil (MRO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

Receive News & Ratings for Marathon Oil Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Marathon Oil and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.