Posts from Saturday May 5 2012

Breakup Please

Six months ago, the FT’s analysis of BP’s latest numbers began, Bob Dudley stated that the company had reached a “definite turning point”. How right he was. Unfortunately, the turning was down rather than up. The shares are not quite plumbing the ocean floor of the panic which followed the Macondo well disaster, but despite higher oil prices, the slowly clearing fog of litigation and the continuing sales of assets at prices well beyond book values, they have still managed to plunge by 13 percent in the last two months.

The fall neatly reflects this week’s news of a 13 percent decline in first-quarter profits, while the other oil majors were cleaning up, so to speak. The most charitable description of BP is that it is a company in recovery mode, while us long-suffering shareholders (sic) wait for Dr Dudley’s medicine to take effect. A less charitable conclusion would be that the patient has such a chronic sickness that only major surgery will cure it. Read more