Murphy Oil Earnings Fall From Previous Year

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 100 views 

El Dorado-based Murphy Oil saw its earnings fall to $226.7 million in the third quarter, a big drop-off from its $406.1 million quarterly profit one year ago.

Revenue dropped by a substantially smaller percentage to $7.122 billion just $226.7 million below the previous year’s third quarter revenue of $7.22 billion.

Lower natural gas prices and weaker margins were blamed for the declines.

“Earnings in the 2012 quarter were below prior year levels primarily due to the effects of lower North American natural gas sales prices, weaker U.S. retail marketing margins, an income tax benefit in the 2011 quarter, and an  unfavorable variance from foreign exchange,” the company said in a statement.

Murphy Oil is in the process of dividing its company into a pure-play exploration and production company and a refining and marketing business entity.

In mid-October, Murphy Oil said it would spin off its downstream subsidiary, Murphy Oil USA, into an independent and separately traded company. The outcome will be two separately traded public companies.

“Our company has recently made a number of key moves that are expected to enhance shareholder value when completed,” said Steven A. Cossé, President and CEO. “As previously announced, the Board of Directors has set in place a plan to separate our U.S. Downstream business, which principally consists of over 1,150 retail service stations throughout the South and Midwest United States.  We expect that this separation will occur in
2013.”

Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) shares closed trading on Wednesday (Oct. 31) at $60.  The company’s stock has traded between $43.29 and $65.60 during the past year.