Traders purchased shares of BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $3.51 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $0.59 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $2.92 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, BP p.l.c. had the 24th highest net in-flow for the day. BP p.l.c. traded down ($0.07) for the day and closed at $34.88

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on BP. Zacks Investment Research raised BP p.l.c. from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $36.00 price objective on BP p.l.c. and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Macquarie downgraded BP p.l.c. from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Societe Generale downgraded BP p.l.c. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $35.04 to $34.90 in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation downgraded BP p.l.c. from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $36.26.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $34.99 and its 200-day moving average price is $34.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $115.89 billion, a PE ratio of 30.82 and a beta of 0.93.

BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The oil and gas exploration company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.18. BP p.l.c. had a return on equity of 3.64% and a net margin of 1.74%. The firm had revenue of $56.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $56.09 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.23 earnings per share. BP p.l.c.’s revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that BP p.l.c. will post $1.65 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.595 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $2.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 6.74%. BP p.l.c.’s dividend payout ratio is 206.96%.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Morgan Stanley increased its position in BP p.l.c. by 11.2% during the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 6,186,085 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $213,544,000 after buying an additional 623,612 shares during the last quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC increased its position in BP p.l.c. by 3.8% during the first quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC now owns 63,117 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $2,179,000 after buying an additional 2,304 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in BP p.l.c. during the second quarter worth $10,896,000. Geneva Advisors LLC increased its position in BP p.l.c. by 6.2% during the second quarter. Geneva Advisors LLC now owns 17,011 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $589,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sunbelt Securities Inc. increased its position in BP p.l.c. by 45.0% during the first quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. now owns 8,760 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $302,000 after buying an additional 2,718 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 10.10% of the company’s stock.

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About BP p.l.c.

BP p.l.c. is an integrated oil and gas company. The Company owns an interest in OJSC Oil Company Rosneft (Rosneft), an oil and gas company. The Company’s segments include Upstream, Downstream, Rosneft, and Other businesses and corporate. The Upstream segment is engaged in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production, as well as midstream transportation, storage and processing.

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