Sunday, June 06, 2010

For BP investors a question: How bad can it get?

Former Labor secretary Robert Reich wants to place BP's U.S. operations in temporary receivership. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wants the oil giant to suspend its dividend payments. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is weighing criminal charges. And lawyers in more than a hundred lawsuits want BP to pay billions of dollars in damages for harm done to people's health, the environment and businesses.

"At this stage, it is impossible to predict the longer-term cost of environmental remediation, claims and litigation, but they will be sizable," BP chief executive Tony Hayward said in a conference call with investment analysts Friday.

So would anyone in his right mind buy shares in this company?

Yes. Despite the fatal explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that triggered the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 10 of the 14 leading investment analysts tracking BP have "buy" ratings on the company, including one who has upgraded his recommendation.
Read the rest here.

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