Artemis’ Stuart: Why I may sell out of BP

Derek Stuart 200w

Artemis UK Special Situations fund manager Derek Stuart says he may sell out of BP if it does not come out with a clear strategy on how it will improve shareholder value.

In an interview with sister title Money Marketing, he says that he is making a decision whether to sell out of his 4.5 per cent position in the firm as the share price has moved sideways since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Stuart (pictured) says: “The BP share price has done absolutely nothing for ages. We bought a load of shares around the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and since then it has gone sideways. So it’s been a bit of a pointless purchase. I am deeply frustrated. It is a cheap share, but I don’t have a catalyst for holding it.”

He says he does not see BP’s recent announcement of a share buyback of at least $4bn – using the proceeds from the sale of its half of its Russian joint venture to Rosneft – as hardly a catalyst for moving the share price.

“It is hardly going to move the Dow is it?” says the fund manager. “With the joint-venture resolved and the fine as a result of the spill announced, if we do not see BP’s shares performing now, there is going to be the questions over what is going to make it perform.”

Stuart says he is going to decide why he owns it and what the catalyst is that is going to make it perform over the next few weeks.

He adds: “BP needs to outline a strategy otherwise the shares will be £4.20 in another two years time and I do not want to be around for that. It has to articulate how they are going to improve shareholder value.”