NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Nature took pity on BP, for once, with Hurricane Alex sparing the BP oil spill response from a direct hit as it touched the U.S.-Mexico border this week. Does that mean it's time to breathe a collective sigh of relief and buy up the beaten down shares of BP?

We asked readers of TheStreet this question last week, and the results suggest that even with the merciful path of Hurricane Alex, investors are still wary of BP as a deep value investment. In deep water remains the default position regarding the situation for BP, as opposed to BP representing a stock market deep value opportunity.

Shares of BP ( BP) did recover, albeit slightly, over the past week. At least, BP shares recovered from 52-week oil spill low (as well as a new 14-year low) that was touched on Friday, June 25, when fears spiked that Hurricane Alex would shut down BP's oil spill containment effort.

In fact, as of the end of trading on Friday, BP had manged its biggest weekly gain since the beginning of the oil spill on April 20, up roughly 7% over the past five days, after having hit the dubious $27 mark on June 25. The week of May 24 to May 28, BP ended the week slightly higher than its Monday opening price, the only other week during the oil spill crisis during which BP shares have edged higher.

Hurricane Alex didn't leave BP completely free of unintended consequences. All vessels involved in skimming operations -- as many as 5,000 -- were called into shore by last Tuesday, as 12-foot waves hit the Gulf. While the oil spill cleanup operation remained at a storm standstill, accusations were being lobbed at BP and the federal government for resisting offers of help from legions of volunteers and foreign nations. BP had to push back its plans to implement an improved containment system -- which could handle as much as 53,000 barrels of oil a day -- to July 7. More oil was also driven into shore by the storm winds, too.

Yet the weather worst-case scenario was avoided. By Friday, the oil spill cleaunup effort was up and running again, and there were indications that Hurricane Alex had resulted in at least one positive turn in the now ten-week-old oil spill: the stormy conditions at sea helped to break apart larger surface concentrations of oil. It is a general rule of the relationship between hurricanes and oil spills that the rough conditions help to disperse the oil, and accelerate the process of biodegradation.

Meanwhile, BP's oil spill containment system continued to capture a steady rate of oil throughout the tempestuous week in the Gulf of Mexico. On Thursday, July 1, BP collected over 25,000 barrels of oil, bringing the total amount of oil captured since the containment system began operations to 534,000 barrels.

There was an inverse relationship in the past week between the hurricane and mergers and acquisitions chatter about BP. As hurricane fears subsided, M&A speculation intensified. BP is yet to complete the $5 billion to $10 billion in bond issuance that was expected as much as a week ago, yet the Street and the press were happy to raise at least that much money through hypothetical scenarios.

On Friday, the Financial Times reported that BP's stake in an Argentine joint venture, Pan American Energy, could fetch as much as $9 billion from Chinese state-run oil company CNOOC ( CEO), which already owns a portion of the Argentine energy venture.

JPMorgan Chase London-based investment affiliate JPMorgan Cazenove put out a report on Tuesday speculating that Exxon Mobil ( XOM) or Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A.) are likely candidates for a takeover of BP. The JP Morgan analyst literally wrote from a point of view inside the head of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, in making the fictional case for a BP takeover.

Back outside the head of Rex Tillerson, though, hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico is just getting started. Hurricane Alex, if nothing else, sent signals that it could be a very active hurricane season in the Gulf. The U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday, July 1, that drilling of the BP relief wells was slightly ahead of schedule, but that still means an end to the leaking well could be a month to a month and a half out, at the earliest.

It may be easier to predict hurricanes than whether the BP share deterioration has reached rock bottom. With fears of bankruptcy ever-present, calling a bottom in BP shares is not for the risk-averse investor. Nevertheless, once the hurricane fears started to swirl amid the existing financial and political fears related to the BP oil spill, we thought it made sense to ask investors if there was a safe entry point for BP shares. We asked, given hurricane season, what's your opinion of BP stock?

BP shares rose this week from $27 to over $29, but most survey takers would be willing to wait for a still-lower entry point for BP stock.

Approximately 20% of survey takers proved to be soothsayers of the hurricane apocalypse, voting that before it's over the hurricane season will be the thing to KO BP.

By far the largest block of survey votes pinned an acceptable "buy" BP value at $25, with 28% of survey respondents saying that if BP hit that mark, it would signal the time to place a long bet.

Many potential BP buyers, however, evinced even lower expectations for the stock. Approximately 17% of survey respondents said they would buy BP at $20. Another 19% of survey takers indicated that BP shares would have to dip below $20 before they became interested in the stock.

Lurking beneath all of the reluctance to step up and take a bet on BP is the view demonstrated by 17% of survey takers: hurricane fears might be overblown, these votes said, but when it comes to BP, hurricanes or no hurricanes, the stock is ultimately headed for bankruptcy.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


Follow on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

As Gary Cohn Stock Selloff Gets Nasty, Investors Send All Sorts of Assets Lower

As Gary Cohn Stock Selloff Gets Nasty, Investors Send All Sorts of Assets Lower

How to Invest in Oil

How to Invest in Oil

Video: 5 of the Biggest Losers From the New Tax Code

Video: 5 of the Biggest Losers From the New Tax Code

Live From NAPE: Oil and Gas Drillers Excited About $60 Oil

Live From NAPE: Oil and Gas Drillers Excited About $60 Oil