NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BP (BP) rejoined the bidding Wednesday in its first foray back into the Gulf of Mexico since its federal ban on exploration and production in the U.S. was lifted. BP was extremely active bidding on 31 tracks during the lease sale on Wednesday.
This is also the first sale of leases in the Gulf of Mexico that the U.S. has conducted since 2008 when no bids were made. 42 companies bid on 326 tracts today, according to the Associated Press.
BP had been suspended from participating in lease sales with the U.S. government by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of its $4.5 billion plea deal with the Department of Justice in 2012. The litigation stemmed from the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010 in which 11 people were killed and 210 million gallons of oil poured into the gulf.
Shares of BP stock were up slighty, 0.1% to $47.63, Wednesday.
TheStreet Ratings team rates BP PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BP PLC (BP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BP PLC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: BP Ratings Report