Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning. They currently have $71.00 target price on the oil and gas company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Following the comprehensive Q3 beat, we are upgrading our investment thesis on Marathon Petroleum to a 'Buy'. The independent refiner beat expectations on stronger fuel margin. Specifically, refining margin of $14.14 per barrel increased versus $11.32 last quarter and $10.67 a year ago. We also welcome MPC's decision not to spin off its Speedway convenience store business. We believe that the retail assets will help the company generate long-term returns for shareholders due to healthy merchandise margins. As it is, we like its scale advantage, impressive asset quality and extensive midstream/retail network. Importantly, MPC is known for raising dividends since it became a standalone public company in mid-2011. Additionally, it has an active share repurchase program. Consequently, we think MPC offers substantial upside potential from the current price levels.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Cowen and Company upped their price objective on Marathon Petroleum Corporation from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub downgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $63.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $54.83 price objective (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation downgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $62.64.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE MPC) traded up $0.06 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $61.72. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,220,100 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,138,471. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 1.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $30,144.79, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.59. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 12-month low of $42.57 and a 12-month high of $63.41.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The oil and gas company reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.29. Marathon Petroleum Corporation had a return on equity of 8.52% and a net margin of 2.35%. The firm had revenue of $19.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.38 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.58 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post 3.59 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 16th will be issued a dividend of $0.40 per share. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 15th. Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s payout ratio is 49.08%.

In other Marathon Petroleum Corporation news, insider Anthony R. Kenney sold 77,578 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.35, for a total transaction of $4,836,988.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 11,450 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.02, for a total value of $607,079.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Blue Chip Partners Inc. bought a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $100,000. Lee Financial Co boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 2,048 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 48 shares in the last quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 32.2% during the 1st quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 2,340 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 570 shares in the last quarter. First Interstate Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 81.1% during the 2nd quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 2,376 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 1,064 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crow Point Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $128,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 81.28% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC)

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