Zacks Investment Research Lowers Mplx (NYSE:MPLX) to Hold

Mplx (NYSE:MPLX) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, March 14th.

According to Zacks, “MPLX LP is a fee-based limited partnership formed to own, operate, develop and acquire crude oil, refined product and other hydrocarbon-based product pipelines and other midstream assets. The Company’s assets consist of a network of common carrier crude oil and product pipeline systems and associated storage assets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions of the United States. MPLX LP is based in Findlay, Ohio. “

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Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Mplx in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Citigroup restated a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 price target on shares of Mplx in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Bank of America initiated coverage on Mplx in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $43.00 target price (down previously from $44.00) on shares of Mplx in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Barclays cut Mplx from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $39.00 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Mplx presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $41.25.

Mplx stock traded down $0.73 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $32.31. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,039,236 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,312,393. The company has a market cap of $26,225.50, a P/E ratio of 30.48, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.05 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.38 and a current ratio of 0.43. Mplx has a fifty-two week low of $30.88 and a fifty-two week high of $39.38.

Mplx (NYSE:MPLX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The pipeline company reported $0.31 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.34 by ($0.03). Mplx had a net margin of 17.90% and a return on equity of 6.98%. The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $937.04 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.17 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 27.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Mplx will post 1.93 EPS for the current year.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Pin Oak Investment Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Mplx in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $272,000. SWS Partners acquired a new position in shares of Mplx in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $149,000. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Mplx by 8.7% in the 4th quarter. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,073,504 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $73,548,000 after purchasing an additional 166,000 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Mplx in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $975,000. Finally, Westwood Holdings Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Mplx by 8.0% in the 4th quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 825,235 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $29,271,000 after purchasing an additional 61,396 shares in the last quarter. 31.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Mplx

MPLX LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires midstream energy infrastructure assets. It operates in two segments, Logistics and Storage, and Gathering and Processing segments. The company is involved in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas; gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs); and gathering, transportation, and storage of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

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