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Marathon Oil Corp Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (MRO)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • MRO's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that MRO's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.59, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $973.00 million or 62.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.
  • Reflecting the weaknesses we have cited, including the decline in the company's earnings per share, MRO has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 18.66% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Exploration and Production, Oil Sands Mining, and Integrated Gas. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.3, above the average energy industry P/E ratio of 7.9and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $18.67 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 9.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

You can view the full Marathon Oil Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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