Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) Volatility Spurs A Quest For Clarity


SSgA Funds Management, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Energy company by 1.76% to 49.43 million shares with purchase of 0.85 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 6.26% valued currently at $271.39 million. In addition, Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Manageme. raised its holdings by 1.74 million to 29.39 million shares. And Geode Capital Management LLC has lifted its position by 7.99% or 1.05 million shares – to 14.17 million shares.

With over 21.1 million Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) shares trading Monday and a closing price of $5.45 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $114.99 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -7.94% and its price on 08/24/20 gained nearly 3.42%. Currently, there are 790.00M common shares owned by the public and among those 787.19M shares have been available to trade.

An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 29 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for MRO have a consensus price objective of $7.46. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $12.00 and a low of $5.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Marathon Oil Corporation stock is 2.90 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 31.96% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -9.0% over that period. But an upside of 54.58% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $6.75.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 32 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 20 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 769,092 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 12 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 164,752 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in Marathon Oil Corporation are Delaware Value Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Delaware Value Fund owns 32.66 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $179.29 million. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 14495.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 22.58 million shares valued at over $123.99 million and representing 2.86% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard 500 Index Fund sold -0.11 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 16.29 million shares at a value of $89.42 million. Vanguard 500 Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.06% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) opened at $5.35, up $0.08 from a prior closing price of $5.27. However, the script later closed the day at $5.45, up 3.42%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -7.94% and -9.62% over the past three months. MRO shares are trading -59.87% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -53.62% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $3.02 and touched a high of $14.39 over the same period. Currently, 21.1 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 30.82 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -5.12%, -6.69%, and -32.12% respectively.

Institutional ownership of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) shares accounts for 74.10% of the company’s 790.00M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 22.57%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 50.39% and 0.76% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $4.50B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 3.34. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.83. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 4.31% over the week and 4.63% over the month.

Analysts forecast that Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) will achieve an EPS of -$0.31 for the current quarter, -$0.22 for the next quarter and -$0.63 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.5 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.16. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.14 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -54.20%, and 50.40% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of -4.00% over the next five years, compared to -16.00% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 29 brokerage firm advisors rate Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.90. Specifically, 6 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 17 of the 29 advise that investors “hold,” and 3 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the MRO, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. Credit Suisse stated their Neutral rating for the stock in a research note on August 05, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $6. JP Morgan coverage for the Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) stock in a research note released on July 23, 2020 offered a Overweight rating with a price target of. Wells Fargo was of a view on June 25, 2020 that the stock is Equal Weight, while Goldman gave the stock Sell rating on June 22, 2020, issuing a price target of $6. Morgan Stanley on their part issued Underweight rating on May 19, 2020.


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