Are Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)’s Recent Ownership and Insider Trends a Sign of Things to Come?

Recent insider trends for Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) have caught the attention of investors. Analysts monitor insider data to understand the sentiment of a company’s largest and most important shareholders. MRO’s insider trading patterns have some implications for where the stock might be headed.

Institutions own 81.45% of Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)’s shares. The total value of these holdings, in millions, is $10,297. Among active positions in the latest quarter, 246 holders increased their positions by a total of 63.82 million shares, 281 holders decreased the positions by a total of 66.7 million shares, and 105 holders held their positions. This works out to a net decrease in ownership of 2.89 million shares, and suggests that institutions are feeling bearish about the stock.

Among new and sold out positions, 57 holders initiated new positions by a total of 14.5 million shares and 54 holders exited their positions by a total of 9.75 million shares. This nets out to an increase of 4.76 million shares and is a bullish 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 27.86 million shares, or 3.29% of the float. This represents a decrease of -21% in the number of shares being shorted compared to the previous reading, and implies that investors felt less pessimistic about the stock during the past two weeks.

In light of the insider ownership and trading data it makes sense to consider technicals to see if they come to a similar 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 Weak 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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