Murphy USA earns $177.7M in Q4

Murphy USA Inc. reported increased sales in the fourth quarter even though it missed analysts' expectations.

The El Dorado-based convenience store and gas station operator posted net income of $177.7 million, or $5.21 per share, for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, compared to net income of $108.8 million, or $4.23 per share, for the same period in 2021.

Per-share earnings missed the average estimate of $6.28 expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 12.6% to $5.37 billion.

Murphy USA's shares fell $1.53, or 0.56%, to close last Wednesday at $270.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares have traded between $164.30 and $323 in the past year. The earnings report was released after the stock market closed Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Fuel sales rose 7.8% during the quarter to 1.2 billion gallons.

For the full year, the company reported net income of $672.9 million, or $28.10 per share, compared to net income of $396.9 million, or $14.92 per share, in 2021.

Revenue climbed 35.1% to $23.45 billion.

Andrew Clyde, Murphy USA's president and chief executive officer, recounted some of the strategies the company employed in 2022.

Murphy USA invested in critical areas, Clyde said, including assembling an experienced leadership team, expanding its network of stores; and improving store performance.

"We have allocated capital in a disciplined manner, resulting in significant store growth and more than 50% reduction in outstanding shares," Clyde said.

Over the next decade, he said, "We continue to see an equally attractive opportunity set of growth and capability building investments to further improve the business."

"With an attractive free cash flow profile, a healthy balance sheet, and strong momentum heading into 2023, we expect to continue our track record of value creation for long-term investors," Clyde said.

During the fourth quarter, Murphy USA repurchased about 800,000 shares for $239.5 million. For the year, the company bought 3.3 million shares for a total of $806.4 million.

Murphy USA now owns 1,712 stores. Most are located near Walmart Inc. Supercenters.

Company executives discussed the results in a conference call Thursday. The call may be accessed through a webcast on the company's investor site at http://ir.corporate.murphyusa.com.