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4 Reasons to Add Murphy Oil (MUR) Stock to Your Portfolio


Estimates for Murphy Oil Corporation MUR have been revised upward over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism in the stock post solid first-quarter 2018 results. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 and 2019 earnings per share have moved up 45.4% and 41.3% to $1.41 and $1.30, respectively.

The company’s shares have rallied 38.0% in the last 12 months compared with the Zacks Oil & Gas E&P Industry’s rise of 17.9%. Murphy Oil has proved reserves of 698 million barrels of oil equivalents at 2017-end. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Let’s focus on the factors that make Murphy Oil a profitable bet.

Positive Earnings Surprise History: Murphy Oil has an impressive earnings surprise history. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters, the average being 102.45%. The consecutive estimate beats indicate the company’s operational excellence.

VGM Score: Murphy Oil carries an impressive VGM Score of A. Here V stands for Value, G for Growth and M for Momentum with the score being a weighted combination of all three factors. Back-tested results show that stocks with a favorable VGM Score of A or B coupled with a bullish Zacks Rank offer the best investment bets.

Stable Asset Base: Murphy Oil has a strong financial position. Its Tupper Montney asset in Canada has a net reserve of 14 trillion cubic feet of gas and is one of the leading low-cost operating assets of the company in North America. The company expects to bring five wells online in the upcoming quarter. The ongoing development in North American onshore assets and offshore assets are likely to boost production.

Focus on Exploration and Production (E&P): Murphy Oil is pursuing steady E&P and development activities in the United States and other international locations. For 2018, the company has allocated $670 million toward onshore assets, $270 million to offshore assets and $130 million on exploration. Murphy Oil possesses one of the best upstream portfolios among the domestic oil and natural gas integrated companies as well as independent E&P group.

Other Stocks to Consider

A few other top-ranked stocks from the same space are Oasis Petroleum Inc OAS, Cheniere Energy, Inc LNG and Continental Resources, Inc CLR. All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Oasis Petroleum pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 42.86% in the last quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 EPS moved up 5.4% in the last 30 days.

Cheniere Energy delivered a positive earnings surprise of 90.32% in the last quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 EPS inched up 1% in the last 30 days.

Continental Resources pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 13.33% in the last quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 EPS moved up 6% in the last 30 days.

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