Marathon Oil Upgraded at Goldman Sachs (MRO)

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Goldman Sachs reported on Friday that they have upgraded energy company, Marathon Oil Corporation( MRO ) to a "Buy."

The firm has upgraded MRO from "Neutral" to "Buy," and has increased their price target from $35 to $39. This price target suggests 22% increase from the stock's current price of $30.19.

An analyst from the firm commented, "we believe improved execution and progress in the Eagle Ford and Bakken shale plays favorably differentiates Marathon from other domestic oil companies," the analyst said. "Capital intensity metrics (i.e., CAPEX/production) are expected to fall further in 2013 to below average levels versus North America oil peers, while we think Marathon is on-track to deliver a competitive mid-single digit annual E&P volume growth rate over the medium term."

Marathon shares were up 63 cents, or 2.09% during premarket trading Friday. The stock is up 3% YTD.

Marathon Oil is an international energy company, which focuses on the exploration, refining, marketing, and production of natural gas and other petroleum products. In its most recent quarter, the company reported net income of $450 million, and revenue of $4.16 billion.

Marathon Dividend In Focus

Marathon has paid out a dividend of 17 cents per share over the past four quarters , which represents a dividend yield of about 2.19%. The company increased its dividend in November 2011 from 15 cents a share. Marathon has not yet announced their next dividend payment. (view the Ex-Dividend Tool for information on all upcoming ex-dividend dates).

Recent Marathon dividends include:

  • December 10, 2012: $0.17
  • September 9, 2012: $0.17
  • June 11, 2012: $0.17
  • March 12, 2012: $0.17

Although MRO increased its dividend payout in 2010, the company decreased its payout in 2011.

Year Dividend ($M) Payout Ratio
2009 $682 57.5%
2010 $704 27%
2011 $571 33%

Marathon vs. The Competition has identified several stocks as direct competition for Marathon Oil including Chevron Corp( CVX ), ConocoPhillips( COP ), and Exxon Mobil( XOM ).

Ticker Company Yield DARS
MRO Marathon Oil 2.19% 3.2
CVX Chevron Corp 3.34% 3.4
COP ConocoPhillips 4.56% 3.5
XOM Exxon Mobil 2.57% 3.4

Use the screener to see all dividend-paying consumer goods stocks, or run other custom searches for dividend-paying stocks.

Marathon Oil Corporation( MRO ) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: MRO

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