Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Murphy Oil (MUR) to Hold

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “In a year's time, Murphy Oil’s shares have outperformed its industry. Murphy Oil’s strong upstream portfolio and ongoing capital investments will pave the way for long-term oil-focused production growth. The new low-cost finding will help the company to further expand onshore and offshore business. The company will benefit from stronger contribution from its Canadian assets. The company is pursuing steady E&P and development activities in the United States and other international locations. However, Murphy Oil operates in a highly competitive oil and gas industry that continues to create challenges for the company. Additionally, with operations outside the United States, the company is also subject to changes in foreign currency conversion rates, which may affect earnings from these oilfields. “

MUR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of Murphy Oil from $37.00 to $39.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Barclays upped their target price on shares of Murphy Oil from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 11th. Wells Fargo & Co decreased their target price on shares of Murphy Oil from $36.00 to $34.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 10th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Murphy Oil from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Murphy Oil in a report on Friday, September 28th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.40.

Shares of MUR stock traded down $0.48 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $34.90. 46,944 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,096,156. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.77 billion, a P/E ratio of -268.46 and a beta of 2.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.62. Murphy Oil has a 1 year low of $24.39 and a 1 year high of $36.53.

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $655.15 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $623.76 million. Murphy Oil had a negative net margin of 6.19% and a positive return on equity of 2.32%. Murphy Oil’s revenue was up 37.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.11) EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Murphy Oil will post 1.64 EPS for the current year.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil by 11.4% during the 2nd quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 16,553 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $546,000 after purchasing an additional 1,694 shares during the last quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil by 29.3% during the 3rd quarter. GHP Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 8,294 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $277,000 after purchasing an additional 1,879 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 129,571 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $4,376,000 after purchasing an additional 2,661 shares during the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. grew its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil by 25.2% during the 2nd quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. now owns 13,597 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $459,000 after purchasing an additional 2,734 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American International Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 327,393 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $11,056,000 after purchasing an additional 2,853 shares during the last quarter. 89.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Murphy Oil

Murphy Oil Corporation operates as an oil and gas exploration and production company worldwide. It explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company was formerly known as Murphy Corporation and changed its name to Murphy Oil Corporation in 1964. Murphy Oil Corporation was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in El Dorado, Arkansas.

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