Why BP (BP) Stock is Higher Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of BP PLC  (BP) are up 1.07% to $45.37 in early-market trading after the oil company was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at Citigroup Inc  (C) this morning.

Analysts at the firm cited its buying opportunity following the sell-off yesterday after a judge found the company grossly negligent for the Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Watch the video below for more on the latest verdict against BP for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago:


WATCH: More market update videos on TheStreet TV | More videos from Keris Alison Lahiff

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BP PLC (BP) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."
 
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 65.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2,042.00 million to $3,369.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $7,877.00 million or 46.22% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BP PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.36%.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.40, 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 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BP Ratings Report

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: See inside Jim Cramer's multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio to see the stocks he and Stephanie Link think could be potentially HUGE winners. Click here to see the holdings for FREE

If you liked this article you might like

Time to Play Equifax?

Energy M&A Weekly: More Midstream IPOs Expected in 2017

Time to Play Equifax?

Here's Where Wall Street Stands

Dow Posts Fresh Record, Third in a Row, but S&P 500 and Nasdaq Fall