A new trading data show Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO) is showing positive returns.

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) stock fell -0.89% on Tuesday to $27.85 against a previous-day closing price of $28.10. With 8.64 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained lighter than its average volume of 10.86 million shares. During the session, the Oil & Gas E&P company that operates in wider Energy sector, reached to the highest price of $32.54 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $27.25. The 52-week range on MRO shows that it touched its highest point at $33.42 and its lowest point at $17.01 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $34.45. With its current market cap of 17.38 billion, MRO has annualized dividend of $0.36 while the current yield stands at 1.29%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 2.45.

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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 MRO was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 3.92%, but this was up by 0.40% over a month. Three-month performance dropped to -4.46% while six-month performance rose 20.15%. The stock gained 53.87% in the past year, while it has gained 2.88% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for MRO yields 5.20 with Next year EPS estimates of 3.84. For the next quarter, that number is 0.89. This implies an EPS growth rate of 165.50% for this year and -16.63% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 32.63% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 19.80%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 670.00 million MRO shares are outstanding with a float of 634.08 million shares on hand for trading. On Oct 13, 2022, short shares totaled 23.32 million, which was 3.44% higher than short shares on Sep 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. Lee M. Tillman as the firm’s Chairman, Pres & CEO, Mr. Dane E. Whitehead serves as its Exec. VP & CFO.


Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 78.84% of MRO’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 42.65% of MRO, in contrast to 36.43% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.93%. As the largest shareholder in MRO with 12.00% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 76,196,345 shares worth 76,196,345. A second-largest stockholder of MRO, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., holds 46,676,989 shares, controlling over 7.35% of the firm’s shares. BlackRock Fund Advisors is the third largest shareholder in MRO, holding 36,105,174 shares or 5.69% stake. With a 3.04% stake in MRO, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 19,325,617 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The SPDR Series – Energy Select Secto, which owns about 2.87% of MRO stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 18,193,168 shares valued at 492.49 million. Vanguard Mid Cap Index Fund holds 2.33% of the stake in MRO, owning 14,791,666 shares worth 400.41 million.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for MRO since 28 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 13 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 2 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 9 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 2 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 2 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With MRO analysts setting a high price target of $48.00 and a low target of $28.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $34.29. Based on these targets, MRO could surge 72.35% to reach the target high and rise by 0.54% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 23.12% 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. MRO will report FY 2022 earnings on 02/14/2024. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $5.50 being high and $4.19 being low. For MRO, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $4.52. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Marathon Oil Corporation surprised analysts by $0.06 when it reported $1.24 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.18. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.04. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.12 and the low estimate is $0.72. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $0.88.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded MRO stock several times over the past three months with 5 Buys and 15 Sells. In these transactions, 310,493 shares were bought while 591,629 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 40 while that of sell transactions has risen to 68 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 2,536,294 while 3,142,260 shares were sold.

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