Mplx Lp (NYSE:MPLX) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 17,890,100 shares, an increase of 51.2% from the June 30th total of 11,830,200 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,450,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 7.3 days. Approximately 6.4% of the company’s stock are sold short.
A number of research analysts recently weighed in on MPLX shares. BMO Capital Markets started coverage on shares of Mplx in a research report on Monday, June 10th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $35.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America upgraded shares of Mplx from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $39.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Mplx from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Raymond James lowered their price objective on shares of Mplx from $38.00 to $34.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated an “outperform” rating and set a $33.00 price objective (down previously from $38.00) on shares of Mplx in a research report on Monday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $37.20.
In other news, CEO Gary R. Heminger bought 42,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 7th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $27.18 per share, for a total transaction of $1,157,868.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 131,956 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,586,564.08. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Garry L. Peiffer bought 18,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $27.15 per share, for a total transaction of $488,700.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 14,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $388,299.30. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Comerica Securities Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Mplx by 125.7% in the 4th quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 13,788 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $418,000 after acquiring an additional 7,678 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new position in Mplx during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $283,000. Legacy Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Mplx during the first quarter valued at approximately $44,000. Huntington National Bank acquired a new position in Mplx during the first quarter valued at approximately $72,000. Finally, Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in Mplx by 17.8% during the first quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 9,247 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $304,000 after purchasing an additional 1,397 shares in the last quarter. 30.53% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
MPLX stock traded down $0.29 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $27.08. 1,358,210 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,666,279. Mplx has a 52-week low of $26.77 and a 52-week high of $39.01. The company has a market cap of $21.84 billion, a PE ratio of 11.82 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.07. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $30.71.
Mplx (NYSE:MPLX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 1st. The pipeline company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by ($0.05). Mplx had a net margin of 28.78% and a return on equity of 27.94%. The business had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.66 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.55 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Mplx will post 2.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, August 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 5th will be paid a $0.668 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 2nd. This is a boost from Mplx’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.44. This represents a $2.67 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 9.87%. Mplx’s dividend payout ratio is 116.59%.
Mplx Company Profile
MPLX LP owns and operates midstream energy infrastructure and logistics assets primarily in the United States. The company also provides fuels distribution services. It operates in two segments, Logistics and Storage, and Gathering and Processing. The company is involved in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas; gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing of natural gas liquids; and transportation, storage, and distribution of crude oil and refined petroleum products.
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