Murphy Oil Reports $1.1B Loss for 2020

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Murphy Oil Corp., the longtime Arkansas petroleum company that moved to Houston last year, reported a smaller fourth-quarter loss than expected before the opening of trading Thursday morning. 

The adjusted net loss of $14 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, did not include discontinued operations or other “one-off items,” the exploration and production company said.

Murphy, whose stock was down about 8% in early trading Thursday, recorded a net loss of $172 million, or $1.11 per diluted share, for the quarter. Its full-year 2020 loss was $1.1 billion, or $7.48 per diluted share, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted crude oil markets worldwide. Murphy’s adjusted loss, excluding discontinued operations and “other items that affect comparability of results,” was $193 million. “This includes after-tax impairments of $845 million,” the company said in a news release.

“We quickly responded to the major pullback in commodity prices by drastically reducing our capital budget and cost structure while adjusting our operational plans, and continued supporting capital allocation to our major offshore projects,” President and CEO Roger W. Jenkins said in a statement. “Our efforts resulted in strong liquidity, cash on hand and paying a dividend to our shareholders.”

Fourth quarter production averaged 149 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, a total held down by undersea equipment issues in the Gulf of Mexico. Repairs are being made, the company said, and “onshore assets were able to offset the impact.”

The oil company, with roots a century old in south Arkansas, moved its headquarters and about 80 home-office employees to existing offices in Houston in May.