BP is one of the largest energy companies in the world and operates in more than 80 countries. The company produces oil and natural gas, and refines and markets petroleum products.
Between April 23 and June 28, the stock plunged nearly 54.8% because of the costs involved in the massive cleanup of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. Since late June, the stock has gained around 51.2%, while the company has been selling assets to pay the costs.
The oil spill weighed heavily on the company's earnings, and BP reported a loss of 91 cents per share in the second quarter. In the third quarter, strong operating performance helped the company to return to profitability.The company has agreed to sell its upstream and pipeline assets in Venezuela and Vietnam to its 50%-owned Russian joint venture TNK-BP for $1.8 billion cash. BP is progressing toward the halfway mark of its goal of divesting $25 billion to $30 billion by the end of 2011, according to a J.P. Morgan report. Of the 40 analysts covering the stock, 25 have buy recommendations, 13 have hold recommendations and two have sell recommendations.