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BP, Hess, Whiting: Ratings Upgrades

BP, Hess and Whiting Petroleum were upgraded at TheStreet.
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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- BP (BP) - Get BP Plc Report, Hess (HES) - Get Hess Corporation Report and Whiting Petroleum (WLL) - Get Whiting Petroleum Corporation Report were upgraded by TheStreet's stock model.


The model upgraded oil-and-gas explorer Whiting Petroleum to "buy."


: Whiting swung to a first-quarter profit of $87 million, or $1.46 a share, from a loss of $44 million, or 92 cents, a year earlier. Revenue more than doubled. The operating margin turned positive. Whiting has $13 million of cash and $720 million of debt.


: Whiting has surged 163% during the past year, beating U.S. stock-market indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 13 and a price-to-book ratio of 1.8, 13% and 66% discounts to peer averages. It's costly based on sales.


: Of analysts covering Whiting Petroleum, 17, or 81%, advise purchasing its shares and four recommend holding them.


(BCS) - Get Barclays Plc Report

expects the stock to advance 24% to $110.


(JEF) - Get Jefferies Financial Group Inc. Report

predicts that it will climb 22% to $108.


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The model upgraded integrated oil-and-gas company Hess to "buy."


: Hess swung to a first-quarter profit of $538 million, or $1.65, from a loss of $59 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier. Revenue grew 34%. The operating margin widened from 2.6% to 12%. Hess has $1.4 billion of cash and $4.3 billion of debt.


: Hess has risen 13% during the past 12 months, trailing stock-market benchmarks. It sells for a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 11 and a price-to-sales ratio of 0.7, 22% and 72% discounts to industry averages. It's also cheap based on book value.


: Of researchers following Hess, 13, or 65%, rate its stock "buy", six rate it "hold" and one ranks it "sell."

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Morgan Stanley Report

offers a price target of $81, leaving a potential 26% return.


(UBS) - Get UBS Group AG Report

foresees the shares hitting $75.


The model upgraded diversified energy company BP to "buy."


: First-quarter profit more than doubled to $6.1 billion, or $1.92, as revenue expanded 54% to $73 billion. The operating margin stretched from 7.6% to 11%. BP has $6.8 billion of cash and $32 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3.


: BP has returned 22% during the past year, lagging behind stock-market indices. It trades at a PEG ratio, a measure of value relative to growth, of 0.3, a 53% discount to its peer average and a 66% discount relative to projected expansion.


: Of firms rating BP, nine, or 60%, advocate purchasing its shares and six recommend holding them.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report

forecasts a price of $72, leaving 37% of upside.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

believes the shares will touch $69.50.

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Ratings Upgrades Portfolio


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-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.