What Recent Ownership Trends Suggest About Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)’s Future Performance

Recent insider trends for Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) have caught the attention of investors. Insider data is useful because it can reveal what a company’s executives and largest shareholders feel about a stock. In this case, the data has some interesting things to say about how MRO might perform in the future.

Institutions own 80.74% of Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)’s shares. The total value of these holdings, in millions, is $10,716. Among active positions in the latest quarter, 258 holders increased their positions by a total of 47.96 million shares, 274 holders decreased the positions by a total of 73.09 million shares, and 98 holders held their positions. This works out to a net decrease in ownership of 25.13 million shares, and suggests that institutions are feeling bearish about the stock.

Among new and sold out positions, 51 holders initiated new positions by a total of 5.85 million shares and 59 holders exited their positions by a total of 9.26 million shares. This nets out to a decrease of 3.41 million shares and is another bearish sign for MRO.

In the last three months, insiders executed a total of 2 trades. 2 were sells. Insider ownership decreased by a total of 2624 shares, which suggests that MRO’s key executives are feeling less optimistic about the outlook for the stock. The data from the past twelve months tells a different story: insiders executed 15 buys and 12 sells, and ownership increased by a net of 538979 shares.

Analysts often look at short interest, or the number of shares currently being shorted by investors, to aid in their outlook for a particular stock. Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO)’s short interest is 35.36 million shares, or 4.18% of the float. This represents an increase of 3% in the number of shares being shorted compared to the previous reading, and implies that investors felt more pessimistic about the stock during the past two weeks.

Given what the insider ownership patterns are saying, it makes sense to consider the technicals to see if these pieces of information reach the same conclusion about the outlook for MRO. A composite of 13 technical indicators that includes measures such as moving averages and momentum oscillators suggests that MRO is a Strong buy, which implies that MRO is expected to outperform the market based on prior trading patterns.


Institutional ownership trends suggest that the stock is cheap and the insider trading data indicates that insiders are bearish. Technical indicators (also) suggest that Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) is undervalued.

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