Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, October 17th.

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.  The downstream operator has handily outperformed the 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. MPC’s decision to retain its Speedway stores will help it generate long-term returns for shareholders due to healthy merchandise margins. However, the company’s 'Refining’ segment – the main contributor to MPC earnings – has been weighed down by depressed margins. MPC also saw an upswing in product cost that was reflected in higher total expenses. Further, the U.S. refiners are feeling the pinch of higher RFS costs to comply with new cleaner gasoline production rules. Thus we take cautious stance on MPC.”

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub downgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Scotiabank set a $55.00 price objective on Marathon Petroleum Corporation and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Credit Suisse Group restated a buy rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a buy rating and issued a $54.83 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Finally, Cowen and Company raised their price target 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. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Marathon Petroleum Corporation presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $62.07.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) traded up $0.15 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $62.35. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,692,911 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,840,000. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a 52-week low of $40.93 and a 52-week high of $62.78. The company has a market capitalization of $30,420.00, a PE ratio of 18.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.61 and a beta of 1.60. The company has a quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The oil and gas company reported $1.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $19.38 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.58 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 17.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post 3.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 11th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 16th will be given a $0.40 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 15th. This represents a $1.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 50.00%.

In other news, VP C. Michael Palmer sold 11,450 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.02, for a total value of $607,079.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 1.05% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Blue Chip Partners Inc. acquired a new position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $100,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,036 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $103,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Lee Financial Co raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 2.4% in the second quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 2,048 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 48 shares during the last quarter. Crow Point Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in the third quarter worth approximately $128,000. Finally, Jacobi Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation by 32.2% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 2,340 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 570 shares during the last quarter. 81.28% of the stock is currently 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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