BP (BP) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BP (NYSE:BP) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “BP has been gaining on the back of a strong portfolio of upstream projects. Since 2016, the integrated energy player has placed 20 key upstream developments online, including Atoll Phase 1, Shah Deniz 2, Taas-Yuryakh oil expansion in Russia and Quad 204 in UK. All those developments are backing the British energy giant to boost production by 900 thousand barrel of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/D) by 2021. BP recently reported strong fourth-quarter 2018 results, thanks to the increase in oil equivalent price realizations and contributions from fuels marketing businesses. However, the oil spill incident of 2010 in the BP-operated Macondo Prospect is affecting the company. Through 2018, the integrated energy firm made a payment of $3.2 billion associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Moreover, BP has an estimated oil spill payment of $2 billion for 2019.”

Several other equities analysts have also commented on the company. Wells Fargo & Co assumed coverage on BP in a research report on Tuesday, December 18th. They set a market perform rating and a $41.00 price objective for the company. Raymond James upgraded BP from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an overweight rating on shares of BP in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $51.79.

BP opened at $42.21 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 1.04 and a quick ratio of 0.78. The stock has a market cap of $142.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.82. BP has a fifty-two week low of $36.28 and a fifty-two week high of $47.83.

BP (NYSE:BP) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The oil and gas exploration company reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.77 by $0.27. The business had revenue of $75.68 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $78.78 billion. BP had a net margin of 3.09% and a return on equity of 12.45%. BP’s quarterly revenue was up 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.11 earnings per share. Analysts predict that BP will post 3.27 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.615 per share. This represents a $2.46 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.83%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 14th. BP’s dividend payout ratio is presently 64.21%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BP. Keystone Financial Group raised its position in shares of BP by 25.9% in the 3rd quarter. Keystone Financial Group now owns 30,214 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $1,413,000 after buying an additional 6,210 shares during the period. Silverleafe Capital Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of BP during the fourth quarter worth approximately $357,000. MML Investors Services LLC boosted its position in shares of BP by 42.8% during the third quarter. MML Investors Services LLC now owns 127,292 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $5,868,000 after buying an additional 38,172 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in BP by 8.2% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 3,577,573 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $165,387,000 after purchasing an additional 270,289 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cooper Financial Group bought a new stake in BP during the fourth quarter worth approximately $252,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 11.09% of the company’s stock.

BP Company Profile

BP p.l.c. engages in energy business worldwide. It operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Rosneft. The Upstream segment is involved in the oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production; midstream transportation, storage, and processing; and marketing and trading of liquefied natural gas (LNG), biogas, power and natural gas liquids (NGLs).

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