LONDON -- One of Warren Buffett's famous investing sayings is "be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful" -- or, in other words, sell when others are buying and buy when they're selling.
But we might expect Foolish investors to know that, and looking at what Fools have been selling recently might well provide us with some ideas for investments that are past their prime
So, in this series of articles, we're going to look at what customers of The Motley Fool ShareDealing Service have been selling in the past week or so, and what might have made them decide to do so.
BP (LSE:BP) (NYSE:BP) is in the No. 7 spot in the latest "Top Ten Sells" list (based on aggregate data from The Motley Fool ShareDealing Service) as the company remains embroiled in a civil lawsuit to determine to what extent it was to blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, and the degree of negligence that led to what happened.
Even though BP has already agreed to pay $4.5 billion (2.9 billion pounds) to settle criminal charges and has paid out $7.8 billion (5.2 billion pounds) in damage settlements, it still faces the possibility of a colossal fine -- up to $17.6 billion (11.7 billion pounds) -- if the verdict in the current trial in New Orleans goes against it.
On a brighter note, BP is getting closer to concluding a merger deal with Rosneft, which will see the Russian national oil company take over BP's stake in TNK-BP, finally disentangling the company from the troubled joint venture. In return BP will get a 20% interest in Rosneft.
BP's share price is up more than 4% so far this year, and analysts having recently been revising their 2013 and 2014 earnings estimates upwards. If they're correct, BP could be on a yield of up to 6% in around two years.
But although the company has been striving hard to recover from the after-effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and seems set to continue making good progress, it's clear that there's still a great deal of uncertainty, which won't disappear until the current trial is over and the full amount of BP's financial liability is known.
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Jon Wallis owns shares in BP. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.