Head to Head Analysis: California Resources (CRC) vs. Marathon Oil (MRO)

California Resources (NYSE: CRC) and Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares California Resources and Marathon Oil’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
California Resources $2.01 billion 0.75 -$266.00 million ($4.40) -7.97
Marathon Oil $4.77 billion 3.58 -$5.72 billion ($0.38) -52.61

California Resources has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Marathon Oil. Marathon Oil is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than California Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Marathon Oil pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. California Resources does not pay a dividend. Marathon Oil pays out -52.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.7% of California Resources shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.0% of Marathon Oil shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of California Resources shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Marathon Oil shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility & Risk

California Resources has a beta of 5.93, suggesting that its stock price is 493% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marathon Oil has a beta of 2.33, suggesting that its stock price is 133% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for California Resources and Marathon Oil, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
California Resources 0 2 3 0 2.60
Marathon Oil 0 11 11 0 2.50

California Resources currently has a consensus price target of $28.70, indicating a potential downside of 18.14%. Marathon Oil has a consensus price target of $18.54, indicating a potential downside of 7.23%. Given Marathon Oil’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Marathon Oil is more favorable than California Resources.


This table compares California Resources and Marathon Oil’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
California Resources -15.85% N/A -2.16%
Marathon Oil -7.56% -0.50% -0.26%


Marathon Oil beats California Resources on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About California Resources

California Resources Corporation operates as an oil and natural gas exploration and production company in the State of California. The company sells crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids to marketers, California refineries, and other purchasers that have access to transportation and storage facilities. It holds interests in approximately 2.3 million net acres of mineral acreage. As of December 31, 2017, the company had net proved reserves of 618 million barrels of oil equivalent. It also generates and sells electricity to the grid and utility customers. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

About Marathon Oil

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States, Equatorial Guinea, the United Kingdom, and Libya. It operates in two segments, United States E&P and International E&P. The company engages in the exploration, production, and marketing of crude oil and condensate, natural gas liquids, and natural gas; and the production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas and methanol. As of December 31, 2017, it had estimated proved developed reserves totaling 903 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe); and estimated proved undeveloped reserves totaling 546 mmboe. The company was formerly known as USX Corporation and changed its name to Marathon Oil Corporation in July 2001. Marathon Oil Corporation was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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