BP settlement poised to give company’s stock a lift, analysts say

BP Plc is poised to gain at least 5 percent this week after a $7.8 billion settlement with victims of the worst U.S. oil spill, an analyst survey showed.

BP shares will probably rise to a minimum of 520 pence from the close of 496.5 pence on March 2, according to the forecasts of five oil industry analysts. Jason Kenney, an analyst for Banco Santander SA in Edinburgh, said the stock may climb as high as 580 pence over time if additional spill costs stay within the company’s estimates.

The deal with businesses and individuals, reached after markets closed last week, was lower than the $14 billion that had been discussed, according to people familiar with the talks, and the money for the settlement will come from the $20 billion compensation fund that Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley has already provisioned for. BP still faces pollution fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act in a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bloomberg
3/4/12