Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Year to date loss in Murphy's shares were narrower than the industry. Murphy Oil’s systematic capital investments and cost savings initiatives pave the way for its long-term growth. Steady production from its balanced global portfolio is enabling it to maintain production level despite a substantial reduction in capital expenditure for the year. Additionally, the company has undertaken cost-saving initiatives which have already made a positive impact and are likely to bring further benefits. However, volatile commodity prices an a highly competitive oil and gas industry are headwinds 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.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on MUR. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $23.00 target price on shares of Murphy Oil Corporation and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. Scotiabank set a $27.00 target price on shares of Murphy Oil Corporation and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Cowen and Company reissued a hold rating and issued a $30.00 target price on shares of Murphy Oil Corporation in a research note on Sunday, September 17th. BidaskClub cut shares of Murphy Oil Corporation from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Barclays PLC cut shares of Murphy Oil Corporation from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and decreased their target price for the company from $38.00 to $29.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $30.08.

Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.03) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.14) by $0.11. Murphy Oil Corporation had a negative net margin of 1.83% and a negative return on equity of 1.76%. The business had revenue of $498.31 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $460.17 million. During the same period last year, the business earned ($0.18) earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.74%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 10th. Murphy Oil Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is -454.55%.

In other news, VP Allan J. Misner sold 3,795 shares of Murphy Oil Corporation stock in a transaction on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.05, for a total transaction of $98,859.75. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,605. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Kelli M. Hammock sold 4,000 shares of Murphy Oil Corporation stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.63, for a total value of $102,520.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 14,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $366,457.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 6.89% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 8.0% during the second 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 in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 24.6% during the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 4,860 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 960 shares in the last quarter. Murphy Pohlad Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation during the third quarter worth $216,000. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 22.5% during the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 8,204 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $235,000 after buying an additional 1,505 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ING Groep NV lifted its holdings in shares of Murphy Oil Corporation by 0.5% during the second quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 8,313 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $213,000 after buying an additional 39 shares in the last quarter. 97.99% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Murphy Oil Corporation

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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