Is There Hidden Value In Oil And Gas Stocks?

Tickers in this article: BP PTR XOM

Chris Lau, Kapitall: Lately the oil and gas giant BP has held a rather negative connotation. Is it time to reconsider?

It’s not often that the stock market presents a reasonably attractive investing opportunity, but this may be the case with oil and gas industry titan BP (BP). Valued at a P/E of just 5.3 and a forward P/E of 8, BP is paying a dividend yielding over 5% for patient investors. The firm may be best known right now for its involvement with the disastrous Gulf of Mexico spill, but investors can still give the stock a closer look.

[Read more from Kapitall: The End of Big Oil?]

Settlement claims

Claims against BP continue to come in from all sides, making news about the stock somewhat unsettling for current investors. The company is trying to reduce the liabilities it faces and is claiming high corruption in the settlement program. A loose interpretation of the terms of the spill settlement is also contributing to the settlement costs. BP is currently spending over $1 in administration costs for every $6 in compensation.

Projects

BP recently resumed its drilling program at the Tiber oil field in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the drilling is to estimate the amount of oil in the area. On the other side of the world – in Iraq – BP is working with its partner, China National Petroleum (PTR), to produce roughly 2.1 million barrels of oil per day from the Rumaila oil field by 2017.

Click on the interactive chart below to see data over time. Sourced from Zacks Investment Research. 

Takeover target

The valuation of BP is so low that rumors are circulating the company could be taken over by Exxon (XOM). The rumor is not anything new, as this chatter circulated numerous times before. Still, the media speculation suggests that BP could be near a bottom. Investors might want to consider the stock ahead of its next earnings call, as stable energy prices could buoy results. BP reports earnings on October 29, 2013.