Murphy Oil Rises After Third Point Calls for Asset Sales

Wednesday, 03 Oct 2012 05:01 PM

 

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Shares of Murphy Oil Corp. rose to the highest level in six months Wednesday after Third Point LLC, the $9 billion hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb, said the oil company should shed assets.

Murphy, based in El Dorado, Arkansas, gained 4.1 percent to $58.21 at the close in New York, the highest price since March 19. The company was the best performer among the 44 members of the Standard & Poor’s Energy Index.

Murphy would be worth as much as $94 a share after spinning off its U.S. retail-fuel business and selling Canadian gas fields, a U.K. oil refinery and its stake in an oil-sands company, Third Point said in a third-quarter investor letter posted on its website.

“Sentimental attachment by management and the Murphy family is driving a stubborn desire to hold onto these and other non-strategic assets,” according to the letter, which also quoted from the Boyz II Men song “End of the Road.”

Barry Jeffery, a Murphy spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message and e-mail seeking comment.

Third Point said it holds a “significant stake” in Murphy and has filed for permission to increase its position. The fund currently has 1.5 million Murphy shares, or 0.8 percent of the company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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