Back to top

Analyst Blog

Shares of Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC - Analyst Report) hit a 52-week high of $65.37 on Wednesday, January 16. In fact, the Findlay, Ohio-based independent oil refiner and marketer – spun out of parent Marathon Oil Company (MRO - Analyst Report) in 2011 – has seen its stock price climb more than 20% since the beginning of November last year.

Despite this price appreciation, we remain optimistic on the firm’s near-term prospects, supported by consistency in its earnings/cash flows, attractive fundamentals and a positive outlook. These factors are reflected in Marathon Petroleum’s Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), implying that it is expected to outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Why the Bullishness?

Our bullish investment theme stems from Marathon Petroleum’s scale advantage, impressive asset quality, and an extensive midstream/retail network that diversifies its portfolio and provides more stable revenue streams. We believe management’s recently commenced $2 billion share repurchase program and the proposed acquisition of BP Plc’s (BP - Analyst Report) Texas City refinery could further boost shareholder value. Marathon Petroleum’s low debt ratio and hefty cash balance add to the positive sentiment.

Based on solid expected performance from the company, eight out of 12 estimates for 2012 have moved higher in the past 60 days, pushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate up by 21 cents (or 2.2%) to $9.62. For 2013, six out of 12 estimates moved north in the past 60 days, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance by 92 cents (or 10.9%) to $9.34.

Other Stocks to Consider

In addition to Marathon Petroleum, there are certain other downstream energy operators like Global Partners L.P. (GLP - Snapshot Report), Northern Tier Energy L.P. (NTI - Snapshot Report) and CVR Energy Inc. (CVI - Snapshot Report) that offer even more value and are worth buying now. All these partnerships sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
SIGNET JEWE… SIG 116.37 +7.72%
INSITE VISI… INSV 0.30 +7.11%
CHYRONHEGO… CHYR 2.72 +5.84%
US SILICA H… SLCA 70.72 +4.00%
MALLINCKROD… MNK 80.11 +2.32%