Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $86.00 price objective on the oil and gas company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would indicate a potential upside of 11.53% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Following strong Q2 results, Marathon Petroleum's rating is upgraded to a 'Buy'. The refiner beat expectations on stronger fuel margin, which rose to $15.40 per barrel from $11.32 a year ago. Better-than-expected operating income from the Midstream unit also drove the outperformance. Meanwhile, MPC's much-anticipated merger with Andeavor is expected to close in early fourth quarter. Apart from making Marathon Petroleum the top independent refiner in the U.S., the $23.3 billion deal is set to create a nationwide refining giant in terms of geographic foothold with an enviable retail and marketing portfolio. Therefore, considering Marathon Petroleum's fantastic growth prospects, the stock is expected to perform above the broader market.”

MPC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum in a report on Friday, April 20th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 6th. Wells Fargo & Co raised shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $83.27 to $80.00 in a report on Tuesday, May 29th. Tudor Pickering downgraded shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 18th. Finally, Bank of America raised shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, May 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Marathon Petroleum has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $85.47.

MPC opened at $77.11 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $36.50 billion, a PE ratio of 20.29, a PEG ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.40. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.92. Marathon Petroleum has a one year low of $49.30 and a one year high of $83.33.

Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The oil and gas company reported $2.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.98 by $0.29. Marathon Petroleum had a net margin of 4.89% and a return on equity of 12.83%. The company had revenue of $22.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $22.14 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.93 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 22.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Marathon Petroleum will post 5.12 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Marathon Petroleum news, insider Thomas M. Kelley sold 24,818 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $1,972,286.46. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 51,869 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,122,029.43. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.09% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of MPC. PointState Capital LP bought a new stake in Marathon Petroleum in the second quarter worth $378,482,000. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Marathon Petroleum during the second quarter valued at about $184,334,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum by 44.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 7,506,332 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $526,645,000 after acquiring an additional 2,297,774 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum by 59.5% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,798,607 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $406,829,000 after acquiring an additional 2,162,851 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA raised its stake in shares of Marathon Petroleum by 639.8% during the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,230,995 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock valued at $163,108,000 after acquiring an additional 1,929,448 shares during the last quarter. 81.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Marathon Petroleum Company Profile

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, marketing, retailing, and transporting petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Midstream. It refines crude oil and other feed stocks at its six refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States; and purchases refined products and ethanol for resale.

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