Moody's Places Murphy Oil on Review for Downgrade to Junk

October 17, 2012 5:19 PM EDT
Moody's Investors Service placed Murphy Oil Corporation's (NYSE: MUR) Baa3 senior unsecured ratings on review for downgrade. The rating action follows Murphy's announcement of a $1 billion share buyback program, $500 million special dividend and the spin-off of its downstream assets in the US.

"The review for downgrade is in response to the notable shift in Murphy's financial policies with the announcement of a large, debt-financed return of capital to shareholders," commented Gretchen French, Moody's Vice President. "Murphy has a long track record of conservative financial leverage, which had helped to offset its smaller size and generally more risky asset profile compared to its investment-grade peers."

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