Friday, February 02, 2007

Calls of Note Part 1

- Goldman Sachs has added Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) to the Americas Investment Buy List, as they view favorably management comments on its earnings call that it would more meaningfully consider M&A opportunities in order to become less reliant on high-risk exploration. While some may be concerned that this could mean an ill-advised acquisition simply to grow, firm's history with Murphy suggests management will be wise with shareholder funds. They think M&A activity could help highlight its substantial asset value, which the firm pegs at $75 per share using $60/bbl WTI oil long-term. They see 20% upside to their new $60 probability-weighted, NAV-based 12-month target price.

Catalyst: The key catalysts for Murphy Oil shares are: 1) M&A/restructuring activity (including acquisitions, asset divestitures, or mergers) that help investors better recognize the significant value of its assets; 2) successful ramp-up of the Kikeh field in deepwater Malaysia later this year; and 3) WTI oil prices moving back above $60/bbl, as the firm expects.

Notablecalls: Expect to see some buy interest.

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