Merrill Lynch Pounds the Table on Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

Merrill Lynch analyst Doug Leggate was out pounding the table on Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) Friday, reiterating a Buy rating and price target of $21 price target, which represents a 25% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

Leggate wrote, “In its latest slide deck, Marathon has raised its legacy acreage type curve in the over pressured STACK by about one-third to 1.525mm boe in what we believe is the first of several steps that would reposition Oklahoma at the core of Marathon’s growth outlook over the next few years. However, a more meaningful reset that we believe is still ahead is a similar step up in type curve in its acquired ‘Payrock’ acreage in the normally pressured area, where recent well results are consistently outperforming the acquisition type curve, as examined in our recent STACK Primer.”

“MRO plans to bring 8-10 new wells to sales in 3Q16, almost doubling the 13 Payrock wells on record to date and lifting the population of operated wells to a critical mass that can allow a reset in the type curve. Based on our detailed review of the play, we fully expect MRO’s current six well interval assessment of the Meramec to move higher providing the depth to support a continued increase in activity and addressing lingering concerns over MRO’s drilling backlog,” the analyst added.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, one-star analyst Doug Leggate is ranked #3,591 out of 4,147 analysts. Leggate has a 44% success rate and faces a loss of 4.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending MRO, Leggate loses 11.3% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics demonstrate MRO as a Buy. Based on 13 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 9 rate a Buy on MRO, while 4 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $18.22, marking nearly 11% upside from where the shares last closed.

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