Murphy Oil Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 1.27 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, for every dollar the company owes in the short term, it has that figure available in assets that can be converted to cash in the short term. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 1.35 in the second quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 26.4% to $3.22 billion while assets rose 19.1% to $4.1 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between November 26, 2012 and January 24, 2013, the stock price had risen $3.60 (6.2%), from $57.88 to $61.48. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 7, 2012 and December 18, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 9.7% (+$5.45) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 1, 2012 and May 15, 2012 when shares fell for 11 straight days, dropping 16.6% (-$9.28) over that span.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of three-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 4.8% in the first quarter and 17.3% in second quarter before falling again in the third quarter.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with seven of 12 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 0.1% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $6.81 billion.

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. In fact, “E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter” is a core component of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework for this very reason. Don’t waste another minute — click here and get our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)