Murphy Oil Corporation’s MUR stable financial position, systematic hedges, efforts to trim costs and low-cost asset development are aiding the stock’s growth. Also, its steady advancement activities are likely to enhance existing businesses, which will drive its performance in the long run.
Let’s focus on the factors that make this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock a strong investment pick at the moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Growth Projection & Surprise History
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings has moved up by 16.3% in the past 60 days to $6.08 per share. Revenue estimates for 2022 of $3.6 billion imply growth of 55.5% from the 2021 reported figure.
Murphy Oil delivered an average earnings surprise of 27.14% in the last four quarters.
Investments & Cost-Saving Initiative
Murphy Oil invested $671 million in 2021 to strengthen existing assets. The company now expects to invest in the range of $900-$950 million in 2022 to further strengthen operations, up 7% from the previously announced Capex range of $840-$890 million.
Murphy Oil has a history of efficiently managing its general and administrative (G&A) expenses. After lowering 2020 G&A expenses by 40% year over year, MUR further lowered the same by 13% year over year in 2021, thereby aiding margins.
In the first six months of 2022, Murphy Oil’s recorded total costs and expenses amounted to $1,144.5 million, down 3.1% from $1,181.6 million in the year-ago period.
Murphy Oil’s Tupper Montney asset in Canada is one of the leading low-cost operating assets in North America. It expects to deliver production at a CAGR of 7% during the 2022-2024 period. Murphy Oil expects offshore production volumes to average 80 thousand barrels of oil per day during the 2022-2024 period.
Murphy Oil has a long history of dividend payments and has paid out dividends to shareholders consecutively since 1972. Since 2012, Murphy Oil has returned $3.9 billion to its shareholders through buybacks and dividend payouts.
On Aug 3, 2022, Murphy Oil’s board of directors approved a 43% increase in the quarterly dividend to 25 cents per share or $1.00 per share on an annualized basis from the previous quarter.
Currently, MUR has a dividend yield of 2.1%, better than the Zacks S&P 500 composite's average of 1.69%.
The Debt to Capital ratio of Murphy Oil at the end of the second quarter of 2022 was 33.6% compared with the industry average of 34.1%. This indicates that MUR is using comparatively lower debts to manage the business compared with peers.
In the past year, the stock has rallied 83% compared with the industry’s 53.3% growth.
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Other Stocks to Consider
Some other top-ranked stocks from the same industry include Stone Energy TALO, Gulfport Energy Corporation GPOR and Earthstone Energy Inc. ESTE, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 earnings per share of Stone Energy, Gulfport Energy and Earthstone Energy has moved up 18.4%, 9.3% and 22.1%, respectively, in the past 60 days.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 sales of Stone Energy, Gulfport Energy and Earthstone Energy has moved up 7.6%, 79.7% and 243.2% year over year, respectively.
TALO, GPOR and ESTE delivered an average earnings surprise of 13.9%, 7.8% and 27%, respectively, in the last four quarters.
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