Murphy Oil Corp.: Profit Slips on Lower Fuel Prices

Worldwide crude, natural gas prices drop by more than one-half in first quarter

Murphy Oil Corp.'s profit fell dramatically in the first quarter as fuel prices tumbled during the three-month period ending on March 31.

The El Dorado, Ark.-based gas and oil exploration and production company's net income was $171.1 million, or 89 cents per share, a 58% drop from the previous year when profit reached $409 million, or $2.14 per share.

The 2008 IW 50 Best Manufacturer's net income includes after-tax gains of $143 million from the March sale of its Ecuador operations and the sale of Berkana Energy in Canada.

The company's worldwide crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquid sales prices averaged $43.15 per barrel, compared with $89.51 per barrel during the same period last year.

"Quite naturally, lower oil and natural gas prices in early 2009 led to reduced net income for our company and the oil industry in the first quarter," said President and CEO David Wood when earnings were released on May 6. "We are pleased with our quarter over quarter oil and natural gas production increases of 23% and 61%, respectively."

Murphy Oil Corp.
At A Glance


Mueller Industries Inc.
Houston, Texas
Primary Industry: Petroleum & Coal Products
Number of Employees: 8,277
2007 In Review
Revenue: $18.4 billion
Profit Margin: 4.16%
Sales Turnover: 1.75
Inventory Turnover: 28.68
Revenue Growth: 28.88%
Return On Assets: 10.30%
Return On Equity: 18.91%
The company's total crude oil, condensate and gas liquids production reached a record of 139,339 barrels per day, up from 113,339 barrels per day produced in the 2008 quarter. The increase in crude oil production was primarily from a ramp-up at the company's Kikeh field in Malaysia. Wood noted that Murphy Oil has three projects scheduled to start in the next two quarters that will add to the company's production increases. The new fields include Thunder Hawk in the Gulf of Mexico, Azurite offshore the Republic of Congo and Sarawak natural gas in offshore Malaysia, Wood said.

Murphy's exploration activities also continue in the Republic of Congo, Malaysia and the eastern Gulf of Mexico In the second quarter the company expects worldwide production will be 144,000 barrels per day, a drop from the first quarter due to the sale of its Ecuador operations. Production also will fall because of downtown associated with oil and natural gas production and handling operations at the Kikeh field, spring breakup in the heavy oil area of Canada, a turnaround at its Syncrude field, and maintenance at the Hibernia and Schiehallion fields.

The company expects earnings per share to range between 40 cents and 60 cents during the quarter.


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