Todays Report: The Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

The Murphy Oil Corp. (MUR) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE:MUR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $33.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 12.67% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Murphy Oil’s systematic investments in exploration and production activities will act as a tailwind. Steady production from its assets is enabling the company to maintain its 2016 production levels despite a substantial reduction in capital expenditure for the year. The company’s entry into the Eagle Ford shale has been successful. Moreover, it is good to see that efficient cost management and systematic asset divestment have allowed the company to lower its expenses. Stringent regulations and a highly competitive industry are headwinds for the company. Operational risks and foreign currency translation issues also pose headwinds.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on MUR. Raymond James Financial Inc. upgraded shares of Murphy Oil Corp. from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, June 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Murphy Oil Corp. in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Murphy Oil Corp. from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $33.00 to $42.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Credit Agricole SA reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Murphy Oil Corp. in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.80.

Shares of Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE:MUR) traded down 2.15% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $28.66. The stock had a trading volume of 1,025,649 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $28.05 and its 200 day moving average price is $29.27. Murphy Oil Corp. has a 52 week low of $14.30 and a 52 week high of $37.48. The company’s market cap is $4.94 billion.

Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE:MUR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported ($0.36) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.39) by $0.03. Murphy Oil Corp. had a negative net margin of 106.14% and a negative return on equity of 7.93%. During the same quarter last year, the company earned ($0.48) EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Murphy Oil Corp. will post ($1.32) earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 14th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 9th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.41%. Murphy Oil Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is -7.24%.

In other news, Director Robert Madison Murphy acquired 36,803 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 9th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $24.16 per share, for a total transaction of $889,160.48. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 6.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Murphy Oil Corp. by 1,602.9% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 4,162,682 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,165,000 after buying an additional 3,918,233 shares in the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. increased its position in Murphy Oil Corp. by 128,811.0% in the second quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. now owns 2,059,998 shares of the company’s stock worth $65,405,000 after buying an additional 2,058,400 shares in the last quarter. AXA increased its position in Murphy Oil Corp. by 25,163.1% in the second quarter. AXA now owns 1,064,587 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,801,000 after buying an additional 1,060,373 shares in the last quarter. UBS Group AG increased its position in Murphy Oil Corp. by 116.1% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 129,244 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,256,000 after buying an additional 933,268 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Murphy Oil Corp. by 3.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,366,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $487,900,000 after buying an additional 499,781 shares in the last quarter. 92.61% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Murphy Oil Corp.

Murphy Oil Corporation 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. The Company’s exploration and production activities are subdivided into four geographic segments, including the United States, Canada, Malaysia and all other countries.

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