Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $71.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 15.04% from the company’s current price.

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.”

MPC has been the subject of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.83 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Thursday, July 20th. Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Marathon Petroleum Corporation from $55.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. BidaskClub upgraded Marathon Petroleum Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 31st. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $62.64.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) traded up $0.06 during trading hours 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 quick ratio of 0.80, a current ratio of 1.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64. Marathon Petroleum Corporation has a twelve month low of $42.57 and a twelve month high of $63.41. The stock has a market capitalization of $30,144.79, a P/E ratio of 18.76, a P/E/G ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 1.59.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The oil and gas company reported $1.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $19.36 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $19.38 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.58 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum Corporation will post 3.59 EPS for the current year.

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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 transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Anthony R. Kenney sold 77,578 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.35, for a total value of $4,836,988.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.05% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Blue Chip Partners Inc. purchased a new position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $100,000. Lee Financial Co increased its holdings in 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 valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 48 shares during the period. Crow Point Partners LLC purchased a new position in Marathon Petroleum Corporation during the 3rd quarter valued at about $128,000. Jacobi Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in 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 valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 570 shares during the period. Finally, First Interstate Bank increased its holdings in 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 valued at $124,000 after purchasing an additional 1,064 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 81.28% of the company’s stock.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:MPC)

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