Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



A Big Upgrade for Marathon Oil

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Every day, the sun rises on Wall Street, and a plethora of professional analysts wake to issue new opinions on stocks. Here at the Fool, we use our "This Just In" column to examine some of these picks-- and the track records of the firm behind them -- so individuals can make better investing decisions.

In addition to following professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 130,000 members, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

Enough top-performing CAPS members have turned bullish on Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO  ) recently to upgrade it from the four-star rank it's held for many months to a more formidable five stars. A total of 1,362 members have given their opinion on Marathon Oil, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Even to the chagrin of Warren Buffett, Marathon and peer energy companies like Apache (NYSE: APA  ) and Buffett-held ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) have lost roughly half their value since last year's highs. But many investors have noted that the stock losses don't necessarily speak to the quality of their businesses, or the outlook for the energy sector as a whole. The low share prices have prompted many to curtail investments, though, and some exploration and production (E&P) companies such as Contango Oil & Gas (NYSE: MCF  ) and Brigham Exploration have even launched antitakeover measures, lest money-stuffed rivals pick the firms up on the cheap.

Marathon's fourth-quarter earnings fell in between BP's (NYSE: BP  ) large loss and ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM  ) record profit. The E&P side struggled with lower crude and gas prices, but Marathon's refining, marketing, and transportation arm saw income jump from $4 million to $325 million, helped by a big increase in margins. Marathon's decision not to split the company in two earned it a boosted outlook from Standard & Poor's, which expects the firm to navigate its way prudently through the downturn. And while many oil sands projects have stalled, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Canada -- a partnership between Marathon, Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) , and majority partner Royal Dutch Shell -- is moving forward with expansion plans.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about Marathon Oil -- as well as other winning stocks they are picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. The community research and resources in CAPS are totally free, unlike analyst opinions reserved for paying clients.

More Foolishness:

The Motley Fool Inside Value service looks for solid companies that have shares beaten down to dirt cheap levels. To see what companies the analyst team believes are priced way below intrinsic value today, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mockrecently upgraded his hot dog with mustard, ketchup and -- oh yeah -- pickle relish. He owns shares of ExxonMobil. The Fool's disclosure policy plumps when you cook it.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (10)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 855940, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 2:02:09 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 16 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:02 PM
MRO $14.64 Down -0.06 -0.41%
Marathon Oil CAPS Rating: *****
APA $62.19 Down -1.29 -2.03%
Apache CAPS Rating: ***
BP $36.25 Up +0.20 +0.55%
BP CAPS Rating: ****
COP $41.54 Up +0.05 +0.12%
ConocoPhillips CAPS Rating: ****
CVX $101.30 Down -0.57 -0.56%
Chevron CAPS Rating: ****
XOM $86.62 Down -0.59 -0.68%
ExxonMobil CAPS Rating: ****