Murphy Oil Co. (NYSE:MUR) Short Interest Up 10.0% in July

Murphy Oil Co. (NYSE:MUR) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 21,340,900 shares, a growth of 10.0% from the June 30th total of 19,393,500 shares. Approximately 13.1% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,620,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 8.1 days.

A number of analysts have recently commented on MUR shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Murphy Oil from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 10th. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on Murphy Oil from $24.00 to $22.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 12th. TheStreet lowered Murphy Oil from a “b” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 14th. Credit Suisse Group cut their price objective on Murphy Oil from $30.00 to $25.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 9th. Finally, Capital One Financial initiated coverage on Murphy Oil in a research note on Wednesday, July 10th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $37.00 price objective on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $32.85.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 632.3% during the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 2,065 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $58,000 after buying an additional 1,783 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new stake in Murphy Oil during the second quarter worth $72,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 247.7% during the first quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 4,729 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 3,369 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Murphy Oil by 10.8% during the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,768 shares of the oil and gas producer’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 560 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investors Research Corp bought a new stake in Murphy Oil during the first quarter worth $149,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.86% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE MUR traded down $1.26 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $18.46. 2,653,164 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,360,944. The company has a market capitalization of $3.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.65 and a beta of 1.94. Murphy Oil has a one year low of $18.33 and a one year high of $36.53. The company’s 50 day moving average is $22.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 1.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.82.

Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 8th. The oil and gas producer reported $0.21 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $709.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $612.71 million. Murphy Oil had a return on equity of 3.48% and a net margin of 12.37%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 81.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.36 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that Murphy Oil will post 0.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 3rd. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.25 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.42%. Murphy Oil’s dividend payout ratio is 79.37%.

About Murphy Oil

Murphy Oil Corporation operates as an oil and gas exploration and production company in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, and internationally. It explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company was formerly known as Murphy Corporation and changed its name to Murphy Oil Corporation in 1964.

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