Murphy Oil Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Murphy Oil is an oil and gas exploration and production company with refining and marketing operations in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Murphy Oil Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.31 per share, no change from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.47. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from $1.35 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.9% versus last year to $5.48.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter prior. In the third quarter, it reported net income of $1.17 per share against a mean estimate of $1.20. Two quarters ago, it beat expectations by 19 cents with profit of $1.52.

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A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 44.2% to $226.7 million ($1.16 a share) from $406.1 million ($2.09 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 1.2% to $7.12 billion from $7.21 billion.

Here’s how Murphy Oil traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

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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.

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