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Why Is Murphy Oil (MUR) Up 26.3% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Murphy Oil (MUR - Free Report) . Shares have added about 26.3% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Murphy Oil due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Murphy Oil Reports Narrower-Than-Expected Loss for Q4

Murphy Oil incurred fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted net loss of 9 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 10 cents. However, the company recorded earnings of 16 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.


In the quarter under review, Murphy Oil’s revenues of $330.2 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $470 million by 29.7%. Also, the top line fell 48.2% from the prior-year quarter’s $637.5 million.

Operational Highlights

The company produced 149,000 MBOEPD in the fourth quarter comprising 55% of oil and 62% of liquids.

In the quarter under review, Murphy Oil’s total costs and expenses amounted to $485.8 million, down 27.9% from $674.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Operating loss from continuing operations came in at $155.6 million compared with $36.7 million in the prior-year quarter.  

The company incurred interest charges of $44.5 million, down 40% from $74.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Murphy Oil has hedged 45,000 barrels of oil per day (Bbl/d) at an average price of $42.77 per barrel for 2021. Also, for 2022, it has hedged 20,000 Bbl/d at an average price of $44.88 per barrel.

Financial Condition

Murphy Oil had cash and cash equivalents of $310.6 million as of Dec 31, 2020 compared with $306.8 million as of Dec 31, 2019. At the end of the year, total liquidity of the company was $1.7 billion.

Long-term debt including capital lease obligation summed $2,988.1 million on Dec 31, 2020 compared with $2,803.4 million as of Dec 31, 2019.

Net cash provided by operating activities at the end of 2020 was $802.7 million compared with $1,489.1 million at the end of 2019.


The company expects net production to be 155-165 MBOEPD for 2021. It anticipates its current-year planned capital expenditures in the range of $675-$725 million excluding the Gulf of Mexico’s noncontrolling interest.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, Murphy Oil has a poor Growth Score of F, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Murphy Oil has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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