Murphy Oil Swings to Profit in 4Q

Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado announced Wednesday that fourth-quarter net income reached $158.7 million, or 82 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $113.9 million, or 59 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

According to the release, revenue for the quarter totaled $7.4 billion, up from 2011's $6.8 billion.

The release stated that the higher earnings were primarily due to higher oil production and lower impairment and exploration expenses in 2012, as well as income tax benefits related to U.S. tax deductions for losses incurred in the company's projects in the Republic of Congo and Suriname.

Revenue for Murphy's fiscal 2012 was $28.6 billion, up from last year's $27.6 billion. Yearly income increased to $970.8 million from last year's $872.7 million.

"The just-completed 2012 was an important year for our company," CEO Steven Cosse said in the release. "Murphy's board decided to separate our U.S. downstream subsidiary into an independent public company; the completion of this process is expected during 2013. The U.S. retail business executed a new contract with Wal-Mart, which will provide growth opportunities for this company for the next several years."