Thursday, June 10, 2010

Head In The (Oil)Sand

As a market analyst working in the oil industry, I'm on BP's press releases mailing list.
This afternoon, I received the following release - note especially the headline:
BP is Not Aware of Any Reason for Share Price Movement
BP notes the fall in its share price in US trading last night. The company is not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.
BP continues to keep the market updated on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill through regular announcements. The response to this incident is our top priority.
BP faces this situation as a strong company. In March, we indicated that the company's cash inflows and outflows were balanced at an oil price of around $60/barrel. This was before the costs of the incident.
Under the current trading environment, we are generating significant additional cash flow. In addition, our gearing is currently below the bottom of our targeted range. Our asset base is strong and valuable, with more than 18bn barrels of proved reserves and 63bn barrels of resources as at the end of 2009. All of the above gives us significant capacity and flexibility in dealing with the cost of responding to the incident, the environmental remediation and the payment of legitimate claims.
BP will continue to keep the market fully informed of further developments in the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in compliance with its listing obligations.
Does anyone want to give them a hint as to the reasons for their "share price movement"? (That's a polite euphemism by the way - BP's share price has fallen 32 per cent in the past month).
Subtle hint to BP - if you're responsible for the worst oil spill in history, don't pretend you're "not aware" of its impact on your share price.

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