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

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 firms have also commented on MUR. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Murphy Oil in a research note on Monday, December 11th. They issued a neutral rating and a $30.00 price objective on the stock. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Murphy Oil from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Murphy Oil in a research note on Sunday, September 17th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Murphy Oil has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $29.91.

Murphy Oil (MUR) traded up $0.88 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $34.95. 2,071,100 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,239,946. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 1.60 and a current ratio of 1.74. Murphy Oil has a 12 month low of $22.21 and a 12 month high of $35.16. The company has a market cap of $5,879.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of -68.53 and a beta of 2.24.

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

In other Murphy Oil news, VP John B. Gardner sold 3,783 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.84, for a total transaction 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 on Monday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.55, for a total transaction of $180,578.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have purchased a total of 25,500 shares of company stock worth $5,100 in the last quarter. 6.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 2.9% during the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 846,549 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $26,286,000 after buying an additional 23,646 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 16.2% during the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 134,515 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $4,177,000 after buying an additional 18,734 shares during the last quarter. Gofen & Glossberg LLC IL acquired a new position in Murphy Oil during the fourth quarter worth $220,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Murphy Oil by 183.5% during the fourth quarter. Acropolis Investment Management LLC now owns 13,725 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $426,000 after buying an additional 8,884 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shelton Capital Management acquired a new position in Murphy Oil during the third quarter worth $251,000. Hedge funds and other 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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