Marathon Oil Corp Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (MRO)

Editor's Note: 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.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B- . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.2%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for MARATHON OIL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 67.30%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.79% trails the industry average.
  • MARATHON OIL CORP's earnings per share declined by 42.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MARATHON OIL CORP reported lower earnings of $2.23 versus $2.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.10 versus $2.23).
  • In its most recent trading session, MRO has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 41.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $549.00 million to $322.00 million.

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Exploration and Production, Oil Sands Mining, and Integrated Gas. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $24.45 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.1, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.9% 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.

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