Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of BP (NYSE:BP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $46.00 price target on the oil and gas exploration company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “BP has been gaining on the back of a strong portfolio of upstream projects. Since 2016, the integrated energy player has placed 17 key upstream developments online. Moreover, the company plans to add eight key upstream projects through 2018. Ramp up in key developments have been backing the leading integrated energy player’s quarterly production volumes. Additionally, BP has a strong commitment in returning cash back to the shareholders through share buybacks and dividend payments. Consequently, BP is likely to offer substantial upside potential from the current price levels and is viewed as an attractive investment.”

BP has been the subject of a number of other reports. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on BP in a report on Tuesday, September 11th. They set a buy rating for the company. Morgan Stanley raised BP from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. ValuEngine cut BP from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. Santander upgraded BP from an underperform rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 31st. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated an overweight rating on shares of BP in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. BP has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $53.22.

Shares of NYSE BP opened at $41.27 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $136.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.95, a P/E/G ratio of 0.64 and a beta of 0.85. BP has a 52-week low of $36.15 and a 52-week high of $47.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 1.22 and a quick ratio of 0.91.

BP (NYSE:BP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The oil and gas exploration company reported $1.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.86 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $79.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $75.31 billion. BP had a return on equity of 11.14% and a net margin of 2.91%. The business’s revenue was up 32.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.09 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that BP will post 3.6 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 21st. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 9th will be paid a $0.615 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $2.46 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.96%. BP’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 129.79%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. GWM Advisors LLC increased its position in BP by 15.7% in the second quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 14,051 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $635,000 after purchasing an additional 1,908 shares during the period. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC increased its position in BP by 27.4% in the second quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 14,927 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $682,000 after purchasing an additional 3,206 shares during the period. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. increased its position in BP by 17.8% in the second quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 37,650 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $1,719,000 after purchasing an additional 5,688 shares during the period. Harvey Investment Co. LLC acquired a new stake in BP in the second quarter worth about $223,000. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC increased its position in BP by 9.3% in the second quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 239,020 shares of the oil and gas exploration company’s stock worth $10,914,000 after purchasing an additional 20,274 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 11.04% of the company’s stock.

BP Company Profile

BP p.l.c. engages in energy business worldwide. It operates through three segments: Upstream, Downstream, and Rosneft. The Upstream segment is involved in the oil and natural gas exploration, field development, and production; midstream transportation, storage, and processing; and marketing and trading of liquefied natural gas (LNG), biogas, power and natural gas liquids (NGLs).

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