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Murphy Oil's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In the downstream segment from continuing operations, we had net income in the first quarter of 2012 is actually a net loss of $4.2 million compared to net income in the first quarter of 2011 from continuing operations of $300,000. In the U.S. downstream operations reported a loss of $7.2 million in the 2012 quarter compared to income of $9 million in 2011, mostly as a result of lower retail fuel margins, which averaged $0.02 per gallon lower in the current quarter and lower retail fuel sales volumes, which were down about 6% year-over-year. Merchandise margins for the 2012 quarter were essentially flat with last year. Results for ethanol production operations were also downy year-on-year due to weaker crush spreads.

U.K. downstream operations recorded income of $3 million in the 2012 quarter compared to a net less of $8.7 million last year. The improvement was largely due to better refinery margins and higher throughput volumes at the Milford Haven refinery.

In the corporate segment, we had a net charge of $27.3 million first quarter of this year compared to a net charge of $22.3 million in the first quarter 2011. This unfavorable variance is mostly attributable to higher administrative costs and lower interest income in the current quarter.

At the end of the first quarter 2012, the long-term debt amounted just under $250 million, a 2.7% of total capital employed. Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled over $1.4 billion at March 31.

Earlier this week, our 10-year $350 million bond matured and were paid off through borrowing under our revolving credit agreement. We're currently working a process to sell $500 million of new 10-year notes. The proceeds from which, if successful, will be used to repay those borrowings and for general corporate purposes. And with that, I'll turn it over to David.

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