Trade-Ideas: Marathon Oil (MRO) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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

  • MRO has 13x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 1.19 mentions/day.
  • MRO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $174.5 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 MRO:

Marathon Oil Corporation operates as an energy company worldwide. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 2.4%. MRO has a PE ratio of 13.4. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Marathon Oil a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Marathon Oil has been 5.1 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Marathon Oil has a market cap of $22.3 billion and is part of the basic materials sector and energy industry. Shares are down 8.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Marathon Oil as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 26.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $450.00 million to $569.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 53.73% to $1,645.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MARATHON OIL CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -44.35%.
  • MARATHON OIL CORP has improved earnings per share by 27.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in 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 ($3.06 versus $2.23).
  • The gross profit margin for MARATHON OIL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 61.55%. Regardless of MRO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MRO's net profit margin of 15.02% compares favorably to the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.
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