Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “We like Marathon Petroleum's scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network. The refiner surpassed Q4 expectations on stronger fuel margin, which increased to $13.12 per barrel from $11.31 a year ago. We believe MPC’s decision to drop down assets worth $8.1 billion to its midstream unit MPLX will boost its financials with visible cash flows to fuel buybacks and higher dividends. However, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RIN costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. We are also concerned of the increasing costs and expenses of the company which may weigh on the earnings. As such we take a cautious stance on the downstream operator.”
A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Scotiabank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $75.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $90.00 target price (up previously from $88.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a research report on Tuesday. Cowen reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $90.00 target price (up previously from $76.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Marathon Petroleum presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $79.08.
Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The oil and gas company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.00 by $0.05. Marathon Petroleum had a net margin of 4.60% and a return on equity of 9.90%. The company had revenue of $21.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $17.27 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.43 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 22.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Marathon Petroleum will post 4.91 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Marathon Petroleum news, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 35,604 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.75, for a total value of $2,305,359.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Rodney P. Nichols sold 6,374 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.93, for a total transaction of $413,863.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 74,674 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,848,582.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Captrust Financial Advisors purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter valued at about $105,000. Truewealth LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter valued at about $114,000. American Beacon Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter valued at about $116,000. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter valued at about $121,000. Finally, MHI Funds LLC purchased a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter valued at about $189,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.38% of the company’s stock.
Marathon Petroleum Company Profile
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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