NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of BP (BP) are down 0.81% to $40.34 in pre-market trade after a U.S. judge weighing how much the oil and gas company should be punished for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill yesterday refused to overturn his own finding that the oil company's conduct was "grossly negligent," Reuters reports.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans means BP could still face close to $18 billion of penalties for violating the federal Clean Water Act.
It marks the latest setback in BP's effort to curb costs from the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, which led to 11 deaths and the largest U.S. offshore oil spill. The trial is expected to resume in January, Reuters added.
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The judge ruled in September that BP committed gross negligence and was 67% at fault for the spill.
TheStreet Ratings team rates BP PLC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BP PLC (BP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."