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Marathon Petroleum activist investor: Paul Singer’s Elliott Management retains interest as MPC stock price motors

By Iliana Mavrou

Edited by Jekaterina Drozdovica

13:46, 8 November 2022

Close up of Marathon sign at a gas station. Marathon Petroleum Corporation is an American petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation company.
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management retains interest as MPC stock price motors Photo: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Stock of the gas and petroleum company Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) surged by around 80% in 2022, trading near all-time high levels as of 8 November, boosted by the growing energy prices. The leading Marathon Petroleum activist investor, Elliott Management, has retained interest in the MPC stock, but what else may shape the firm’s sentiment?

Read on for the latest Marathon Petroleum activist investor news and more. 

What is Marathon Petroleum?

Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC) was founded in 1887, in Ohio, US.

The firm specialises in gas and petroleum production and is in charge of refining crude oil and purchasing refined products and ethanol for sale. As of November 2022, Marathon Petroleum had 13 refineries in 12 different states that have a crude oil refining capacity of 2.9 million barrels per day. 

In addition, the company is in charge of conducting midstream operations that focus on the marketing, storage, transportation and distribution of crude oil and refined products. 

In 2011, the company was split into two different firms: Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and currently operate as two separate companies. Following the split, Marathon Petroleum Corporation went public on 1 July 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker ‘MPC’.

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Marathon Petroleum activist investor interest in 2022

The last Marathon Petroleum news in relation to its activist investor, Paul Singer’s hedge fund Elliott Management, was circulating in 2019, when the investment firm sent a letter to MPC’s board of directors asking them to split the company into three ways – retail, midstream and refining – because that could “unlock more than $22 billion in value for shareholder”. Since then, interest from activist investors, including Elliott Management, has not diminished. 

Data from HedgeFollow, as of 8 November, showed that Elliott Management held 11.06 million MPC shares, valued at around $909.65m. This value also added up to around 19.05% of the hedge fund’s portfolio. 

Interest from an activist investor as big as Elliott Management could be a big deal for determining the future of Marathon Petroleum’s stock value, as the firm manages around $55.7bn worth of assets (as of 30 June 2022). 

Singer is one of the most prominent activist investors. Elliot Management’s portfolio includes other firms, such as Pinterest (PINS) and Peaboy Energy (BTU). 

Upbeat third-quarter results boost MPC stock

On 1 November, the MPC stock reached its then all-time high of $119.27, a jump of 79.7% since the start of 2022. Amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, surging inflation and the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) aggressive monetary policy, MPC stock, like other companies in the energy sector, delivered hefty returns on the back of soaring energy prices. 

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Marathon Petroleum’s stock price, 2017 - 2022

The surge in November came as the company released upbeat third-quarter results, which saw Marathon Petroleum’s net income surge by more than 545%, from $694m in the third quarter of 2021 to $4.5bn this quarter. 

The company’s president and CEO, Michel J. Hennigan, noted that demand for Marathon Petroleum products remains high. By the end of 2022, the firm is expecting to complete the first phase of its Martinez renewables project facility which will see the firm enter a new market. 

In other Marathon Petroleum stock news, the company announced that its board of directors had declared a dividend of $0.75 a share on common stock, up by around 30% from its previous dividend of $0.58 a share. 

In addition, on the same day, Marathon Petroleum celebrated its second-year in partnership with the Big Tech Conference and its sponsorship of the Big Ten Network. 

Marathon Petroleum stock price: Analyst views

As of 8 November’s close, the Marathon Petroleum stock price stood at $119.91 – a new all-time high, achieved just six days following the stock’s 1 November surge. 

Based on the consensus view of 12 analysts, the MPC stock was rated a ‘moderate buy’, according to data compiled by MarketBeat, as of 8 November, with one analyst rating it as a ‘strong buy’, eight rating it as a ‘buy’ and three a ‘hold’. 

The average forecast for the Marathon Petroleum stock price for the next 12 months was for the stock to rise to $121.71, with the highest analyst prediction standing at $140 and the lowest suggesting it could fall to $90.

Note that analysts can and do get their forecasts wrong. Always do your own due diligence before trading, looking at the latest news, wide range of commentary, technical and fundamental analysis. Remember, past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade or invest more than you can afford to lose.

FAQs

Is Marathon Petroleum a public company?

The company went public on 1 July 2011 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), trading under the ticker ‘MPC’, following the split between Marathon Oil and Marathon Petroleum.

Who owns Marathon Petroleum?

Marathon Petroleum is an Ohio-based gas and petroleum production company founded in 1887 by John D. Rockefeller.

Is Marathon Petroleum a good stock to buy?

Based on the consensus view of 12 analysts, MPC stock was rated a ‘moderate buy’, according to data compiled by MarketBeat, as of 8 November, with one analyst rating it a ‘strong buy’, eight rating it a ‘buy’ and three a ‘hold’.  Note that analysts can and do get their forecasts wrong. Always do your own due diligence before trading. And never trade or invest more than you can afford to lose.

Markets in this article

MPC
Marathon Petroleum
171.15 USD
3.18 +1.900%
PINS
Pinterest Inc (Extended Hours)
38.02 USD
-0.72 -1.860%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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