Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Year to date loss in Murphy's shares were narrower than the industry. Murphy Oil’s systematic capital investments and cost savings initiatives pave the way for its long-term growth. Steady production from its balanced global portfolio is enabling it to maintain production level despite a substantial reduction in capital expenditure for the year. Additionally, the company has undertaken cost-saving initiatives which have already made a positive impact and are likely to bring further benefits. However, volatile commodity prices an a highly competitive oil and gas industry are headwinds for the company. Additionally, with operations outside the U.S., the company is also subject to changes in foreign currency conversion rates, which may adversely impact its earnings from these oilfields that are likely to affect the performance of the company.”

MUR has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Barclays PLC cut Murphy Oil Corporation from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $38.00 to $29.00 in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. BidaskClub cut Murphy Oil Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Murphy Oil Corporation from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Wednesday, October 18th. Scotiabank set a $27.00 target price on Murphy Oil Corporation and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated a hold rating and set a $31.00 price objective on shares of Murphy Oil Corporation in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $30.08.

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) traded up $0.21 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $27.60. 2,552,693 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,016,595.

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.03) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.11. The business had revenue of $498.31 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $460.17 million. Murphy Oil Corporation had a negative return on equity of 1.25% and a negative net margin of 4.15%. The company’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.18) EPS. research analysts expect that Murphy Oil Corporation will post -0.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 13th will be given a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.62%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 10th. Murphy Oil Corporation’s payout ratio is -196.08%.

In other news, insider Kelli M. Hammock sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.63, for a total value of $102,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 14,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $366,457.74. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Allan J. Misner sold 3,795 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.05, for a total value of $98,859.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,605. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MUR. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 23.9% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 123,154 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $3,520,000 after acquiring an additional 23,755 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 1.7% in the 1st quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 10,200 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $292,000 after acquiring an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 22.5% in the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,204 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $235,000 after acquiring an additional 1,505 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its position in Murphy Oil Corporation by 35.7% during the 1st quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 49,514 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $1,415,000 after buying an additional 13,024 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in Murphy Oil Corporation by 6.0% during the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 220,185 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $6,295,000 after buying an additional 12,521 shares in the last quarter. 97.99% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Murphy Oil Corporation Company Profile

Murphy Oil Corporation (Murphy) is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company’s exploration and production business explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids across the world. Its exploration and production activities are subdivided into four geographic segments: the United States, Canada, Malaysia and all other countries.

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