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.
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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."