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Marathon Upgraded By Susquehanna After Divesting From Canadian Oil Sands, Buying New Mexico Oil Field

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Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO) was upgraded from Neutral to Positive at Susquehanna on Friday after the oil giant sold off its Canadian subsidiary for $2.5 billion and bought 71,000 acres of oil fields in New Mexico for $1.1 billion.

Analyst Biju Perincheril maintains a $19 price target for Marathon shares.

Analyst Commentary

The purchase of acreage in the Permian Basin follows Marathon’s 2016 acquisition of PayRock and is “another step in the right direction to address the depth of economic inventory at current commodity prices,” Perincheril said in a note.

The earlier PayRock deal put Marathon in control of about 61,000 acres of oil field in Oklahoma, according to Oil and Gas Investor.

There’s been reason for bearishness on Marathon due to its light U.S. holdings, Perincheril said — and the recent acquisitions of American oil inventory are changing that.

Marathon’s moves come in a week where U.S. crude hit its lowest price in a year on the basis of record high inventories and increased domestic drilling.

At last check, shares of Marathon were down 0.81 percent at $15.94.

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