Acting on panic never helps investors, but it's still a good idea to question why you're really buying individual investments.

Consider multinational oil and gas firm BP (NYSE: BP). Though the worst appears to be behind the company, you'll find more than a few of the 4,973 Motley Fool CAPS members weighing in on the company offer reasons to be bearish.

Here at the Motley Fool, we like to consider both the good and bad sides of an investment, so in this article, I'm highlighting three of the main bearish arguments on BP today. Be sure to read the bullish side as well, and then weigh in with your own comments below or rate BP in CAPS.

1. Big charges
While oil giants like ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) all posted huge leaps in earnings in the second quarter, BP reported $32 billion in spill-related charges that dragged the firm down to a $17 billion quarterly loss. With the effects of the spill still unfolding, some CAPS members expect more financial fallout related to spill costs.

2. Unknown liabilities
The total liability that BP faces, both direct and indirect, is still in question, with many investors making them unwilling to hold onto the risky stock. BP and others involved in the drilling operations, Transocean (NYSE: RIG) and Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), still face federal investigations, and BP has yet to collect any money from well co-owners Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC) and Mitsui. The difficulty of estimating the financial costs even has one DnB Nor analyst likening investing in BP to an "extreme sport."   

3. PR nightmare
Between its handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the $10 billion tax credit the company claimed because of cleanup costs, and the record fine for lingering safety problems from a 2005 Texas refinery explosion, BP is not making many friends these days. The company is swapping CEOs to put a new face on the company, but some investors think BP's image may be tarnished for years.

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about BP, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look -- or add your own thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock votes three to be the number of the day. He owns shares of ExxonMobil. Chevron is an Income Investor choice. The Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil. The Fool's disclosure policy can bench 220. You?