Murphy Oil (MUR) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $30.00 target price on the oil and gas producer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 5.63% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Murphy Oil’s systematic capital investments and cost-savings initiatives have paved the way for long-term growth. The new low-cost finding will help the company to further expand onshore and offshore business.  In last 12 months shares of Murphy Oil have lost narrower than the industry it belongs to. Production in the fourth quarter was lower than expected due to unplanned downtime in some of its production fields. Murphy Oil operates in a highly competitive oil and gas industry that continues to create challenges 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.”

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on MUR. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Murphy Oil from $26.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Cowen set a $34.00 price target on shares of Murphy Oil and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 18th. Stephens set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Murphy Oil and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, January 22nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Murphy Oil from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Murphy Oil from $29.00 to $34.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $31.69.



Shares of NYSE MUR opened at $28.40 on Wednesday. Murphy Oil has a 52-week low of $22.21 and a 52-week high of $35.16. The company has a quick ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63.

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The oil and gas producer reported $0.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $541.58 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $552.54 million. Murphy Oil had a negative net margin of 14.31% and a negative return on equity of 0.45%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned ($0.16) EPS. analysts anticipate that Murphy Oil will post 0.88 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, insider Eugene T. Coleman sold 33,435 shares of Murphy Oil stock in a transaction on Monday, February 5th. The shares were 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 approximately $1,653,264.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in MUR. BancorpSouth Bank bought a new stake in Murphy Oil during the 4th quarter valued at $130,904,000. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in Murphy Oil by 351.9% during the 4th quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 939,234 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $29,163,000 after purchasing an additional 731,385 shares in the last quarter. Aristotle Atlantic Partners LLC bought a new stake in Murphy Oil during the 4th quarter valued at $19,892,000. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Murphy Oil during the 4th quarter valued at $15,400,000. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP increased its stake in Murphy Oil by 102.9% during the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 897,825 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $27,877,000 after purchasing an additional 455,286 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.97% of the company’s stock.

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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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