Short Interest in Murphy Oil Co. (MUR) Decreases By 14.3%

Murphy Oil Co. (NYSE:MUR) saw a significant drop in short interest in the month of December. As of December 15th, there was short interest totalling 28,726,057 shares, a drop of 14.3% from the November 30th total of 33,519,835 shares. Currently, 17.7% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 2,137,821 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 13.4 days.

Shares of Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) opened at $34.61 on Friday. Murphy Oil has a 52-week low of $22.21 and a 52-week high of $35.00. 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 (NYSE:MUR) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The oil and gas producer reported ($0.03) EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.14) by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $498.31 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $460.17 million. Murphy Oil had a negative return on equity of 1.25% and a negative net margin of 4.15%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted ($0.18) EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Murphy Oil will post -0.23 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Murphy Oil news, VP John B. Gardner sold 3,783 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Robert Madison Murphy sold 6,325 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 6th. The shares were 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. In the last three months, insiders acquired 25,500 shares of company stock valued at $5,100. 6.89% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 14,581,270 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $373,718,000 after buying an additional 445,500 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,162,743 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $311,730,000 after buying an additional 265,161 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 11,806,976 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $302,613,000 after buying an additional 529,291 shares during the period. State Street Corp grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 4.6% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 11,373,872 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $291,513,000 after buying an additional 503,190 shares during the period. Finally, Pzena Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 1.0% in the 3rd quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 9,609,282 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock valued at $255,223,000 after buying an additional 98,500 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.79% of the company’s stock.

MUR has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised 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. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Murphy Oil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 price target for the company in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Murphy Oil in a research report on Monday, December 11th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price target for the company. Finally, Cowen restated a “hold” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of Murphy Oil in a research report on Sunday, September 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Murphy Oil presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $29.91.

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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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