Murphy Oil Sees Unusually High Options Volume (MUR)

Murphy Oil Co. (NYSE:MUR) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Investors acquired 5,212 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 747% compared to the average daily volume of 615 call options.

Murphy Oil (NYSE MUR) opened at $26.69 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63, a quick ratio of 1.60 and a current ratio of 1.64. The company has a market capitalization of $5,023.60, a P/E ratio of -14.83 and a beta of 2.25. Murphy Oil has a twelve month low of $22.21 and a twelve month high of $35.16.

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The oil and gas producer reported $0.08 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.03) by $0.11. The company had revenue of $541.58 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $552.54 million. Murphy Oil had a negative return on equity of 0.45% and a negative net margin of 14.31%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned ($0.16) earnings per share. research analysts expect that Murphy Oil will post 0.82 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 5th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.75%. Murphy Oil’s dividend payout ratio is presently -55.56%.

In other Murphy Oil news, insider Eugene T. Coleman sold 33,435 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.88, for a total value of $965,602.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 57,246 shares in the company, valued at $1,653,264.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP John B. Gardner sold 3,783 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $105,318.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of MUR. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 407.9% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 1,057,047 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $28,073,000 after purchasing an additional 848,930 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 171.4% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,018,113 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $27,041,000 after purchasing an additional 642,930 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 19.5% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,326,099 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $88,342,000 after purchasing an additional 541,618 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 4.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,373,872 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $291,513,000 after purchasing an additional 503,190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 1,114.5% in the third quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 335,988 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $8,924,000 after purchasing an additional 308,324 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.96% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages have weighed in on MUR. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Murphy Oil from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Murphy Oil from $26.00 to $33.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Murphy Oil in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price objective for the company. Stephens set a $37.00 price objective on Murphy Oil and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 22nd. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Murphy Oil from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $31.83.

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About Murphy Oil

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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