Zacks reiterated their neutral rating on shares of BP PLC (NYSE: BP) in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $43.00 target price on the stock.
Zacks’ analyst wrote, “We are maintaining our recommendation on BP Plc at Neutral following its fourth quarter 2012 results. The company’s earnings decreased from the prior-year quarter due to a low oil and gas production level owing to its asset sale program. However, the results surpassed our expectation on strong downstream operations. BP was able to capture higher refining margins that partly offset the impact of planned downtime at the Whiting Refinery in Nov 2012. With the start-up of production from the Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea as well as at its ultra-deep water PSVM project in block 31, off the Angolan coast, BP started the year on a positive note. Although its strategy of offloading non-core upstream properties will prove beneficial over time, the far-reaching turnaround and maintenance activities will be major causes of concern.”
BP PLC traded down 1.34% on Thursday, hitting $41.27. BP PLC has a 1-year low of $36.25 and a 1-year high of $48.34. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $43.56. The company has a market cap of $131.5 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.54.
The company also recently declared a special dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 15th will be given a dividend of $0.54 per share. This represents a yield of 4.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 13th.
BP has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at TheStreet downgraded shares of BP PLC from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, February 19th. Separately, analysts at Raymond James downgraded shares of BP PLC from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, January 8th.
Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, five have assigned an overweight rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating, one has assigned an underweight rating, and two have assigned a sell rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of overweight and a consensus price target of $47.06.
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