Short Interest in Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO) Increases By 21.4%

Marathon Oil Co. (NYSE:MRO) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 27,710,000 shares, an increase of 21.4% from the November 14th total of 22,830,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 12,200,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.3 days. Currently, 3.5% of the company’s stock are short sold.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Marathon Oil by 0.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 94,394,130 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,341,340,000 after purchasing an additional 694,173 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Oil by 16.0% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 82,640,427 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,174,320,000 after acquiring an additional 11,401,401 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Oil by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 50,605,844 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $719,110,000 after acquiring an additional 5,420,834 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Oil by 8.8% during the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 46,852,052 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $665,767,000 after acquiring an additional 3,789,808 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Boston Partners boosted its stake in shares of Marathon Oil by 13.4% during the 2nd quarter. Boston Partners now owns 14,375,738 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $204,231,000 after acquiring an additional 1,698,509 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 82.13% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently commented on MRO. Citigroup began coverage on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Monday, September 23rd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $13.00 price target on the stock. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $20.00 to $21.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, September 20th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Marathon Oil from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Guggenheim began coverage on shares of Marathon Oil in a report on Tuesday, November 26th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Marathon Oil from $16.00 to $15.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 4th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $19.62.

MRO stock traded down $0.31 on Friday, hitting $12.72. The company had a trading volume of 9,406,412 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,814,284. Marathon Oil has a 12-month low of $11.06 and a 12-month high of $18.93. The company has a current ratio of 1.06, a quick ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $12.11 and its 200 day simple moving average is $12.69. The stock has a market cap of $10.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.92, a P/E/G ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 2.30.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.04 by $0.10. Marathon Oil had a net margin of 15.51% and a return on equity of 5.56%. The company had revenue of $1.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.26 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.24 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 19.3% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Marathon Oil will post 0.68 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 10th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 20th were issued a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 19th. Marathon Oil’s dividend payout ratio is currently 28.17%.

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 and International. 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.

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