Merrill Lynch Upgrades Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)

Merrill Lynch analyst Doug Leggate was out pounding the table on shares of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) Wednesday, upgrading the stock from a Neutral to a Buy rating, while slightly raising the price target from $20 to $21, which represents a 38% increase from current levels.

Leggate comments, “Marathon Oil remains one of the most oil levered of the large cap US oils, with a production mix weighted 65% to liquids (54% oil). While this has positioned MRO with attractive upside versus peers we have previously viewed this as a binary outcome of higher oil prices. However, over the past few months we believe a series of events have improved MRO’s relative investment case led by an improved balance sheet outlook post disposals, increased capital flexibility and critically, the recent PayRock acquisition that in our view moves MRO into the ‘rate of change’ bucket amongst the large cap US oils.”

As usual, we advise taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks, one-star analyst Doug Leggate is ranked #3,614 out of 4,121 analysts. Leggate has a 39% success rate and faces a loss of 4.7% in his average returns. When recommending MRO, Leggate loses 49.2% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate MRO as a Buy. Based on 14 analysts polled in the last 3 months by TipRanks, 9 rate a Buy on MRO, 4 maintain a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The consensus price target stands at $17.40, marking a nearly 15% upside from where the shares last closed.

Recommended Article: Equity Analysts Mixed on Marathon Oil Corporation Following PayRock Acquisition

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