Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Murphy Oil' have outperformed the industry’s rally in the last six months. 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. 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 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.”

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Murphy Oil in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They set a neutral rating and a $30.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Murphy Oil from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $30.00 price target on shares of Murphy Oil in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.91.

Murphy Oil (NYSE MUR) traded up $0.34 on Monday, reaching $34.61. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,889,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,297,389. The company has a market cap of $5,880.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of -66.56 and a beta of 2.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.74 and a quick ratio of 1.60. Murphy Oil has a fifty-two week low of $22.21 and a fifty-two week high of $35.00.

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.03) EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.14) by $0.11. The business had revenue of $498.31 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $460.17 million. Murphy Oil had a negative return on equity of 1.25% and a negative net margin of 4.15%. Murphy Oil’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.18) EPS. analysts anticipate that Murphy Oil will post -0.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP John B. Gardner sold 3,783 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total value of $105,318.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert Madison Murphy sold 6,325 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.55, for a total value of $180,578.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have acquired a total of 25,500 shares of company stock worth $5,100 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sentry Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Murphy Oil by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 12,549 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $322,000 after buying an additional 127 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Murphy Oil by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,071 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 301 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp grew its stake in shares of Murphy Oil by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 17,960 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $460,000 after buying an additional 474 shares during the last quarter. Earnest Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Murphy Oil by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 57,686 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $1,478,000 after buying an additional 563 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norinchukin Bank The grew its stake in shares of Murphy Oil by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 11,255 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $288,000 after buying an additional 724 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 96.79% of the company’s stock.

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Murphy Oil 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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