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bp oil stock price before spill

It's no secret that most oil stocks have suffered over the past year or so. Though they've gained back some ground in recent months, oil prices are still down 7.65 percent year-to-date, and BP (NYSE:BP,LSE:BP) has seen its share price drop roughly 22 percent, to $31.05, over the same period.

Despite those recent events, many investors are still wondering about the BP oil stock price before the company's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill, considered the worst of its kind in US history, released an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil before a leaking pipe was finally capped after 87 days. BP agreed to pay $18.7 billion in fines related to the spill in July 2015.

Not surprisingly, the event coincided with one of the biggest drops for BP's stock price since 1978. Shares of the company lost 54 percent on the New York Stock Exchange between April 20 and June 25, 2010, bouncing back slightly before the wellhead was capped on July 15, 2010. BP stock lost a similar amount in London over the same period.


Previously, the company had lost roughly 45 percent of its share price value in New York between May 23, 2008 and October 10, 2008 — that fall came during the global financial crisis.

The selloff in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill was also marked by the largest trading volumes in BP's stock price history by a long shot. Volumes peaked at 735.76 million in New York on June 11, 2010, compared with daily averages that sit closer to 30 million. Check out the spike at the bottom right of the BP stock price chart below:

[caption id="attachment_146314" align="aligncenter" width="750"]BP stock price chart Source: Google Finance[/caption]

The BP stock price was sitting at roughly $59 prior to the spill, and so far shares of the company haven't come close to recovering. BP shares have traded within a 52-week average of $27.01 to $43.85, and the BP stock price has been on an overall downtrend for the past year and a half.

Most recently, BP has seen troubles at its Salah gas joint venture in Algeria. The gas plant was reportedly hit by a rocket attack on March 18, and according to The Wall Street Journal, both BHP and joint venture partner Statoil (NYSE:STO) are withdrawing their staff from the country.

BP has thus far left its dividend unchanged despite falling revenues due to low oil prices, but market watchers are divided on expectations for the company's performance in the near future. Seeking Alpha writer Damon Verial has argued that BP stock is doing worse now than it was in 2010, noting that the company hasn't raised its dividend since August 2014.

"The oil spill was a PR nightmare and did put a dent in the business. But overall, BP was still running and increasing its dividends to shareholders," Verial states in a recent article, adding, "[e]ven if its stock stabilizes at $30, BP could cut its dividends."


Looking ahead, Verial believes that "things will only get worse in 2016" for BP, noting that "[w]hile the price of oil has bounced back, we see no such bounce in BP."

However, Barclays (LSE:BARC) is much more positive on BP. According to Interactive Investor, Barclays believes that the company offers more relative upside than Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), and has set BP as its top pick. The firm isn't forecasting a turnaround for BP in 2016, but it is expecting things to pick up for the company by 2020.

"[A]dditional cash flow from projects coming on stream combined with the continued effort to reduce the cost base, particularly at the corporate level, should enable BP to maintain and even grow the current dividend level over the coming five years," Barclays oil analyst Lydia Rainforth is quoted as saying. "As a result, we see the 7.5% yield and 54% potential upside to our 550p per share price target as compelling and we rate the stock 'overweight.'"


Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article. reported on Natural Gas and Oil Stock :

A few months back, we started moving heavily into natural gas companies as the commodity began rebounding from its panic levels in the $3 range. In December, we began taking positions in refiners as the crack spread has continued to widen. Oil and its refined products (gasoline, jet fuel, etc) can only diverge so far for so long before something gives – either oil falls or the refined products rise, both of which improve the future profits of the refiners.

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