4 Energy Stock Stories to Start Off the New Trading Week

BP (NYSE:BP): Closing price $42.01

At the opening of the second phase of BP’s trial on Monday, attorneys for the plaintiffs claimed that well before the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, BP knew that its Macondo well might explode and then lied about the magnitude of oil that leaked. The oil major is struggling to hold down fines that could come to a whopping $18 billion at the trial in New Orleans.

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Total SA (NYSE:TOT): Closing price $57.93

On Monday, Total said it had divested all of its exploration and production assets in Trinidad and Tobago for $473 million to The National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago. The sale is effective as of January 1, 2012. The transaction has already been OK’d by the relevant authorities and closed Monday.

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Petrobras – Petroleo Brasileiro SA (NYSE:PBR): Closing price $15.46

Shares moved up modestly Monday on hunches that Petrobras will boost fuel prices after a report cited CEO Maria das Gracas Foster as saying she is pushing for a rise. The stock rose by 1.6 percent to 18.80 reais around noon in Sao Paulo on Monday, extending its quarterly gain to 16 percent. Petrobras is developing a new price adjustment policy to cut losses from fuel imports, according to the newspaper O Globo on Sunday.

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Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDSA): Closing price $65.68

Goldman Sachs on Monday upgraded Shell from Sell to Buy and moved its price target from $69 to $71. The analyst noted the poor performance during the past year as the oil major embarked on a major capital expenditure spree, as Shell did not deliver any disposals and let earnings fall under the weight of high depreciation and exploration expense. However, the analyst also said, “We believe that the underlying business is sound and highly cash generative, with higher exposure than peers to long-lived assets and slightly better production/cash flow growth in the coming years.”

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