Trade-Ideas LLC identified

Marathon Petroleum

(

MPC

) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Marathon Petroleum as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • MPC has 11x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 2.47 mentions/day.
  • MPC has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $230.8 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on MPC:

Marathon Petroleum Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in refining, marketing, retailing, and transporting petroleum products primarily in the United States. It operates through three segments: Refining & Marketing, Speedway, and Pipeline Transportation. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.6%. MPC has a PE ratio of 9. Currently there are 9 analysts that rate Marathon Petroleum a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Recommends

The average volume for Marathon Petroleum has been 5.4 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Marathon has a market cap of $26.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The stock has a beta of 1.43 and a short float of 2.7% with 2.85 days to cover. Shares are up 10.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com

Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings

rates Marathon Petroleum as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $994.00 million or 13.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.46%.
  • MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MARATHON PETROLEUM CORP increased its bottom line by earning $4.42 versus $3.31 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.76 versus $4.42).

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