by Luke Jones
Posted 5/8/2013 01:58 pm
Updated 10 months ago
The incoming CEO of Murphy Oil Corp. spin-off Murphy Oil USA Inc. said Wednesday that the new retail gas station company is poised for growth, having inked a deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in December and eyeing new markets in Virigina.
Andrew Clyde, tapped in January to be CEO of the retail gas station spin-off, spoke to investors Wednesday at Murphy Oil Corp.'s annual meeting at the South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado.
At the meeting, Murphy Oil executives also discussed the oil and gas company's future as two separate, publicly traded entities.
"This really is a new era for both companies," said CEO Steven Cossé, who spent the last 11 months as CEO after David Wood left the post in June.
Cossé plans to step down later this year when the company completes the spinoff. Roger Jenkins, executive vice president and COO, will replace him.
Clyde told shareholders that Murphy is "in a sweet spot" for a standalone retail business. He said the company, whose first gas station opened in 1996, is financially stable and ripe for growth.
Because Murphy divested its refinery business, gas station expansion is now possible in Virginia, where state laws prevent refiners from operating co-owned retail sites. In December, it signed a deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville to add more than 200 new Murphy fueling stations at Wal-Mart stores in the Midwest and Southeast United States.
And 40 new Murphy Express locations -- retail sites not connected to Wal-Mart's discount program -- are also in the works, Clyde said.
In all this year, Murphy USA has 1,017 kiosks at Wal-Mart stores and 157 standalone kiosks, the company said.
Meanwhile, Jenkins, the future Murphy Oil Corp. CEO, lauded the company's strategy and financial track record. But he said he wasn't happy with where Murphy was on oil exploration.
"There are a lot of companies worse than us," he said, noting that Murphy has "been on top before" and could return to that spot.
During the meeting's normal business, shareholders approved the nominations of Murphy's board of directors; its compensation for executive officers; its 2013 stock plan for directors not employed by the company; and its appointment of KPMG LLP as its independent auditor