'Ludicrously Undervalued' BP Would Benefit from Split

on July 25 2011 4:45 PM
BP
BP faces a probation hearing for a 2009 spill in Alaska. REUTERS

BP would be wise to consider splitting its operations, as ConcoPhillips and Marathon Oil recently have, to possibly gain back up to 100 billion in value, according to an analyst.

JO Hambro Capital Management Group's Clive Beagles believes the company is "ludicrously undervalued" at $147 billion and could stand to gain as much as $100 billion in value if the right moves were made.

"On a sum of the parts basis, BP is ludicrously undervalued," Beagles told Bloomberg. "Perhaps that means they need to take as radical a route as ConocoPhillips, or articulate a better strategy."

The company has stated it is not considering splitting up its operations, though Marathon Oil's move has already seen success. Marathon Oil's share prices have gained 23 percent since its split, leading analysts to encourage BP to do the same.

If it were to split or sell off some of its assets, the company could be worth up to $248 billion, according to JPMorgan Cazenove.

The company has struggled since a Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as it saw its share price drop 28 percent in the aftermath of the disaster. It remains Europe's second-biggest oil producer, but has lost position to Royal Dutch Shell Plc since the spill.

During that same time period, Shell saw a share price increase of 13 percent.

BP will announce its earnings report on Tuesday and is expected to post a second quarter profit of $6 billion.