Marathon Oil Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Marathon Oil Corp (NYSE:MRO) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Marathon Oil is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in North America, Africa, and Europe.

Marathon Oil Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 85 cents per share, a decline of 22% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 86 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 85 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 5.2% versus last year to $3.84.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top analyst estimates this quarter after trailing for the two previous quarters. Last quarter, it missed estimates by reporting net income of 59 cents per share against an estimate of profit of 85 cents per share. The quarter before that, it missed expectations by 3 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $2.93 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 85.5% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $31.7 billion for the year, a decline of 56.9% from last year’s revenue of $73.62 billion.

Analyst Ratings: nine out of 16 analysts surveyed (56.3%) have a buy rating on Marathon Oil.. This is below the mean analyst rating of nine competitors, which average 63.7% buy ratings. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 41.8% to $405 million (57 cents a share) from $696 million (98 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 80.1% to $3.66 billion from $18.44 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 40.5% in the second quarter, more than twofold in the first quarter and 98.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has fallen in the past two quarters. In the second quarter, the figure fell 79.9%.

Competitors to Watch: Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Hess Corp. (NYSE:HES), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), TOTAL S.A. (NYSE:TOT), Statoil ASA (NYSE:STO) and Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR).

Stock Price Performance: During November 28, 2011 to January 26, 2012, the stock price had risen $5.56 (21.4%) from $25.98 to $31.54. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 13, 2012 and January 23, 2012 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 5.8% (+$1.76) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 25, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 22.7% (-$7.30) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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