The Hated Oil Stock That

It’s doubtful that many Americans have forgiven BP (NYSE: BP) for the company’s disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But it seems investors are starting to come around.

Shares of the world’s most hated oil stock are up 9% this year, rising to their highest level in more than a year this morning on news that the company has reached a $7.8 billion settlement with the many victims of its 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The settlement is perhaps quelling some of the lingering outrage toward the big oil company – or at least enough to have an effect on Wall Street.

At $48.22 a share this morning, BP’s stock has reached its highest level since last March.

Higher oil prices have certainly contributed to BP’s recent rise. Oil prices have surged over the past month due to heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, dragging oil stocks up with it. Most of BP’s gains have come since January 30 – right around the time oil prices went through the roof.

BP’s resurgence will likely continue as long as the price of oil continues to climb. The oil stock may not reach the $60 a share level it was trading at before the April 2010 spill, nor the $75 a share level it reached in mid-2008.

But barring another disaster, BP seems unlikely to return to its post-oil spill nadir of $27 a share. Even if it is still the most hated oil stock in the world.   

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