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Marathon Oil Has Taken These Steps to Contain Its Debt

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Marathon Oil’s debt trends

Since 2Q15, Marathon Oil’s (MRO) has been focusing intently on containing its debt load. Marathon Oil’s total debt has fallen from its peak of ~$8.4 billion in 2Q15 to ~$7.3 billion in 2Q16. This decline represents a debt reduction of ~8% during the past four quarters.

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Marathon Oil’s debt containment efforts

Marathon Oil has been successfully containing its total debt by means of liquidity-boosting measures like asset sales, equity issuances, capex reduction (see Part 12), dividend reduction (see Part 14), and by utilizing operating cash flows (see Part 11). Due to these measures, Marathon Oil’s debt is not expected to increase, even after closing PayRock Energy’s acquisition for $888 million in 3Q16.

Other upstream players

In 2016, other S&P 500 (SPY) companies including Southwestern Energy (SWN), Devon Energy (DVN), and Encana (ECA) have increased their cash position by means of divestitures. The ETF ISE-Revere Nat Gas Index Fund (FCG) invests in natural gas producers.

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