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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BP, Murphy Oil, Hess, ConocoPhillips and Murphy USA

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – September 11, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the BP plc ( BP- Free Report), Murphy Oil Corp. ( MUR- Free Report), Hess Corp. ( HES- Free Report), ConocoPhillips ( COP- Free Report) and Murphy USA Inc. ( MUSA- Free Report).
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

Here are highlights from Tuesday’s Analyst Blog:

Oil & Gas Roundup: Syria Leads the Upward March

The EIA’s weekly ‘Petroleum Status Report’ showed that crude inventories fell by 1.84 million barrels for the week ending Aug 30 to 360.21 million barrels. An uptick in refinery processing rates and lower imports led to the stockpile drawdown with the world's biggest oil consumer even as domestic production continued to spike, now at their highest level since 1989. In particular, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma – the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange – were down 1.83 million barrels from the previous week’s level to 34.76 million barrels. 

(Read our full coverage on the EIA release: Syria, Supply Drop Pushes Crude Above $108)

The Sub-Sectors:

Integrated: Among the major integrated players, British major BP plc ( BP- Free Report) was the lead performer, whose U.S.-listed shares gained 1.3% for the week after the company won an appeal to fast-track its ongoing $9.6 billion settlement associated with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But overall, most of the ‘Big Oil’ is suffering from marginal or falling returns even as crude prices are at 2-year highs, reflecting their struggle to replace reserve base, as access to new energy resources becomes more difficult.    

E&P: While all crude-focused stocks stand to benefit from rising commodity prices, companies in the exploration and production (E&P) sector are the best placed, as they are able to extract more value for their products. The SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index traded up 1.8% during the week.  

Leading the pack was Murphy Oil Corp. ( MUR- Free Report), which jumped 6.1% following the spin-off of its retail marketing business into a separate, independent and publicly traded entity Murphy USA Inc. ( MUSA- Free Report). Shares of Hess Corp. ( HES- Free Report) and ConocoPhillips ( COP- Free Report), both rose around 3% through the week, as the former boosted dividend by 150%, while the later got a favorable ruling from an international arbitration tribunal regarding a dispute with Venezuela.

Oilfield Services: The oil services group – represented by the– was up 4.2% through the week. Climbing oil prices and rising capital spending have positioned the industry for better times ahead, reflected by the strong share price performance of big players.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.
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