Murphy Oil 1Q Profit Down 13 Percent

Murphy Oil of El Dorado said Wednesday that first-quarter profit fell 13 percent to 148.9 million, or 77 cents per share.

In a news release, the company said profit fell due to lower refining margins and planned shutdowns for major turnarounds at two of its largest refineries at Meraux, La., and Milford Haven, Wales. The company company also cited "significant losses" on foreign currencies transactions in 2010.

The company said first-quarter profit was $148.9 million, or 77 cents per share, compared to $171.1 million, or 89 cents per share, during the same quarter last year.

The 2010 quarterly results included net after-tax losses of $41.3 million, or 21 cents per share, on foreign currency transactions, while 2009 results included after-tax gains of $26.1 million, or 14 cents per share, on such transactions.

The company said its refining and marketing operations had a loss of $29.7 million during the quarter, compared to income of $10.8 million during the same time last year. In the U.S., those operations lost $14.7 million in 2010 compared to earnings of $14.6 million last year, the company said.

Looking ahead, Murphy Oil expects full-year 2010 production volumes of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It expects consolidated earnings in the second quarter of between $1.15 and $1.25 per diluted share.