Are Smart Investors Making the Right Decision? MPLX LP (MPLX)

MPLX LP (NYSE: MPLX) stock fell -2.04% on Friday to $31.75 against a previous-day closing price of $32.41. With 1.44 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 1.52 million shares. During the session, the Oil & Gas Midstream company that operates in wider Energy sector, reached to the highest price of $32.93 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $31.72. The 52-week range on MPLX shows that it touched its highest point at $35.49 and its lowest point at $27.05 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $38.00. With its current market cap of 32.58 billion, MPLX has annualized dividend of $2.82 while the current yield stands at 8.88%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.50.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of MPLX was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -4.28%, but this was down by -2.34% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 12.03% while six-month performance fell -3.02%. The stock gained 15.59% in the past year, while it has gained 7.30% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for MPLX yields 3.14 with Next year EPS estimates of 3.50. For the next quarter, that number is 0.84. This implies an EPS growth rate of 456.80% for this year and 6.48% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 9.94% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 295.30%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 1.01 billion MPLX shares are outstanding with a float of 361.69 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 16.25 million, which was 1.60% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Michael J. Hennigan as the firm’s Chairman, Pres & CEO of MPLX GP LLC, Mr. John J. Quaid serves as its Exec. VP, CFO & Director of MPLX GP LLC.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 24.65% of MPLX’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have minority control over the company. Other institutions hold 9.21% of MPLX, in contrast to 64.28% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 11.04%. As the largest shareholder in MPLX with 2.69% of the stake, Harvest Fund Advisors LLC holds 27,257,781 shares worth 27,257,781. A second-largest stockholder of MPLX, Invesco Advisers, Inc., holds 20,329,294 shares, controlling over 2.01% of the firm’s shares. ALPS Advisors, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in MPLX, holding 20,221,790 shares or 2.00% stake. With a 1.97% stake in MPLX, the Alerian MLP ETF is the largest stakeholder. A total of 19,912,906 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Invesco SteelPath MLP Income Fund, which owns about 1.17% of MPLX stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 11,789,596 shares valued at 384.58 million. Kayne Anderson MLP/Midstream Inve holds 0.45% of the stake in MPLX, owning 4,586,385 shares worth 149.61 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for MPLX since 14 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 7 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 5 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With MPLX analysts setting a high price target of $43.00 and a low target of $34.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $38.00. Based on these targets, MPLX could surge 35.43% to reach the target high and rise by 7.09% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 19.69% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. MPLX will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/01/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $3.41 being high and $3.23 being low. For MPLX, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $3.30. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. MPLX LP surprised analysts by $0.02 when it reported $0.83 EPS against a consensus estimate of $0.81. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.01. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $0.86 and the low estimate is $0.81. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.84.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded MPLX stock several times over the past three months with 12 Buys and 0 Sells. In these transactions, 11,043 shares were bought while 0 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 64 while that of sell transactions has risen to 32 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 198,315 while 129,121 shares were sold.

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