Is BP Stock a Buy?

No, I’m not going to add my outrage to the flood of commentary already about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (a sickening human, environmental, and economic tragedy, on multiple levels).

Instead, given my interest in the stock market (after real estate, of course!), I thought I’d summarize what various stock commentators and analysts covering BP have had to say (I’m paraphrasing, but the gist is accurate):

April 20 — Date of spill (BP stock price = $60): “Buy! The damage from the spill is likely to be contained, and it’s far from clear that BP — rather than Halliburton or TransOcean — is liable.”

April 30 — Estimate of spilled oil quadrupled (BP stock price = $50): “Buy! The damage and legal liability are likely to be far greater than originally estimated — but that’s more than reflected in the now-lower stock price.”

May 15 — Various efforts to cap the spill have all failed; oil continues to spew into the Gulf (BP stock price = $42): “Buy! The market has already priced in billions of legal liability — liability that’s likely to be far in the future.”

June 1 — U.S. Justice Department announces criminal probe into BP (BP stock price drops to $36). “Sell! The oil spill and its after-effects threaten to bring down the company.”

Hmm, I wonder who’s been doing all the selling between April 20 and June 1???

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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