Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

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Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE:MPC) saw a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 16,380,000 shares, an increase of 6.0% from the January 15th total of 15,460,000 shares. Currently, 2.5% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 5,570,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.9 days.

Shares of NYSE MPC opened at $58.33 on Friday. Marathon Petroleum has a fifty-two week low of $43.96 and a fifty-two week high of $69.65. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $57.11 and its 200 day simple moving average is $57.80. The company has a quick ratio of 0.62, a current ratio of 1.25 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71. The stock has a market cap of $38.71 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.62, a P/E/G ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 1.72.

Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 29th. The oil and gas company reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.85 by $0.71. Marathon Petroleum had a net margin of 2.11% and a return on equity of 7.42%. The business had revenue of $31.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $30.07 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.41 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Marathon Petroleum will post 6.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 10th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This is a boost from Marathon Petroleum’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.53. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.98%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 18th. Marathon Petroleum’s payout ratio is currently 42.91%.

MPC has been the subject of several analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $80.00 to $75.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised shares of Marathon Petroleum from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. Cowen lifted their price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $69.00 to $72.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday. Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $70.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 22nd. Finally, Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of Marathon Petroleum from $71.00 to $67.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, January 17th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $73.73.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Boston Partners raised its position in Marathon Petroleum by 77.8% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 12,807,028 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $778,559,000 after acquiring an additional 5,604,647 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in Marathon Petroleum by 8,399.2% in the third quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 4,380,729 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $266,129,000 after acquiring an additional 4,329,186 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in Marathon Petroleum in the fourth quarter worth about $144,130,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Marathon Petroleum by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 56,398,616 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $3,151,555,000 after acquiring an additional 1,251,901 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in Marathon Petroleum by 201.7% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,509,996 shares of the oil and gas company’s stock worth $90,585,000 after acquiring an additional 1,009,439 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.04% of the company’s stock.

Marathon Petroleum Company Profile

Marathon Petroleum Corp. is an independent petroleum product refiners, marketers and transporters in the United States. The company operates through the following segments: Refining & Marketing; Retail; and Midstream. The Refining & Marketing segment refines crude oil and other feedstocks at its refineries in the Gulf Coast and Midwest regions of the United States, purchases ethanol and refined products for resale and distributes refined products through various means, including barges, terminals and trucks that the company owns or operates.

See Also: Capital Gains Distribution

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