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Earnings Estimates Moving Higher for Murphy Oil (MUR): Time to Buy?

Murphy Oil (MUR) shares have started gaining and might continue moving higher in the near term, as indicated by solid earnings estimate revisions.

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Murphy Oil (MUR) could be a solid addition to your portfolio given a notable revision in the company's earnings estimates. While the stock has been gaining lately, the trend might continue since its earnings outlook is still improving.

- Zacks

Analysts' growing optimism on the earnings prospects of this oil and gas producer is driving estimates higher, which should get reflected in its stock price. After all, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements. Our stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- is principally built on this insight.

The five-grade Zacks Rank system, which ranges from a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record of outperformance, with Zacks #1 Ranked stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 2008.

Consensus earnings estimates for the next quarter and full year have moved considerably higher for Murphy Oil, as there has been strong agreement among the covering analysts in raising estimates.

The chart below shows the evolution of forward 12-month Zacks Consensus EPS estimate:

12 Month EPS

Current-Quarter Estimate Revisions

For the current quarter, the company is expected to earn $0.39 per share, which is a change of +360% from the year-ago reported number.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Murphy Oil has increased 36.99% over the last 30 days, as four estimates have gone higher compared to no negative revisions.

Current-Year Estimate Revisions

For the full year, the earnings estimate of $1.44 per share represents a change of +215.2% from the year-ago number.

In terms of estimate revisions, the trend for the current year also appears quite encouraging for Murphy Oil. Over the past month, three estimates have moved higher compared to no negative revisions, helping the consensus estimate increase 11.3%.

Favorable Zacks Rank

The promising estimate revisions have helped Murphy Oil earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The Zacks Rank is a tried-and-tested rating tool that helps investors effectively harness the power of earnings estimate revisions and make the right investment decision. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Our research shows that stocks with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) significantly outperform the S&P 500.

Bottom Line

Investors have been betting on Murphy Oil because of its solid estimate revisions, as evident from the stock's 37.1% gain over the past four weeks. As its earnings growth prospects might push the stock higher, you may consider adding it to your portfolio right away.



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