Is BP Undervalued?

With shares of BP (NYSE:BP) trading around $42, is BP an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

BP is an integrated oil and gas company. The company provides its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging. It operates in two business segments: Exploration and Production, and Refining and Marketing. The company has been the subject of negative press in recent years due to an oil leak that had significant negative effects. Since then, BP has been repairing its image and looks to be doing it well. Through its segments, BP provides valuable energy products and services that are a requirement for the operation of most businesses and growing populations.

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T = Technicals on the Stock Chart are Mixed

BP stock has taken a lot of heat in recent years but looks to be regaining its footing in the long-term. Currently, the stock is in the middle of a multi-year trading range where a positive break above it may be fairly significant for the stock. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, BP is trading around its tangled key averages which signal neutral price action in the near-term.

BP

(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of BP options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

BP Options

19.77%

6%

5%

What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a very minimal amount of call and put options contracts, as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

May Options

Steep

Average

June Options

Steep

Average

As of today, there is an average demand from call buyers or sellers and high demand by put buyers or low demand by put sellers, all neutral to bearish over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a very minimal amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral to bearish over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Mixed Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on BP’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for BP look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2012 Q4

2012 Q3

2012 Q2

2012 Q1

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)

-78.98%

7.99%

-124.38%

-19.34%

Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)

7.51%

-4.72%

-8.71%

9.33%

Earnings Reaction

1.35%

2.78%

-4.59%

-1.64%

BP has seen mixed earnings and revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these figures, the markets have been pleased with BP’s recent earnings announcements.

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P = Average Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has BP stock done relative to its peers, Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA), and sector?

BP

Chevron

Exxon Mobil

Royal Dutch Shell

Sector

Year-to-Date Return

2.57%

12.23%

2.38%

-1.90%

9.16%

BP has been an average performer, year-to-date.

Conclusion

BP provides essential energy products to consumers and a wide array of companies that operate in different industries around the world. The stock has suffered in recent times due to the negative press it has experienced from the oil leak incident. However, it is now trying to establish a value range. The two most recent earnings and revenue figures have pleased investors. Relative to its peers and sector, BP has been an average year-to-date performer. WAIT AND SEE what BP does this coming earnings report.

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