Wellington Management Company, LLP Owned 34.8 Million Shares of BP As of 03/31/2010

-- 3 month chart - BP --To say that BP shareholders are taking a beating is an understatement of epic proportions.

At the end of March, BP was trading at around $57 per share, which was close to its 52 week high. The company was valued at around $178 billion at the time, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world.

BP was, in short, the type of stock that your grandfather would give you 500 shares of and implore you never to sell.

On April 20th, everything changed for the company when the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank. Iím sure that you know the story by now - a wellhead was damaged during the explosion, and oil has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico ever since, creating one of the largest environmental disasters in the history of our planet.

The oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico over two months later, as BP has been unable to contain the leak. Both public anger and potential clean-up costs continue to mount on a daily basis, with BP (and its executives) taking the brunt of the blame.

Almost overnight, BP turned into one of the most hated companies in the world, even overtaking the Granddaddy of all hated companies, Goldman Sachs.

On April 23rd, 2010, BP actually traded higher on the day to close at $59.88.

Since then, BPís stock has traded straight down, lopping off tens of billions of dollars in market capitalization. The stock, which traded at around $60 on April 23rd, has since dropped to around $30 in a little over two months. Thatís about $90 billion in market cap that has been evaporated in less than two months, likely never to return.

Which institutional holders have taken the largest hit on their BP investments?

These were the top ten institutional holders of BP stock as of 03/31/2010:

Wellington Management Company, LLP - 34,841,626 shares
Barrow, Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss, Inc. - 16,700,677 shares
Bank of America Corporation - 13,905,449 shares
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co - 13,052,048 shares
Price (T.Rowe) Associates INC - 12,442,139 shares
Morgan Stanley - 11,224,852 shares
FMR LLC - 7,854,986 shares
Tradewinds Global Investors, LLC - 7,436,248 shares
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - 7,133,000 shares
Wells Fargo & Company - 6,729,517

We touched on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationís investment in BP in this article a little while ago. Since I wrote this article, things have gotten even worse for BP, and the Foundation has lost even more money on their investment.

As far as I know, Wellington Management Company, LLP has not sold any of their investment in BP (I looked at their SEC filings and didnít see any recent 13G filings for BP). This means that Wellington has lost approximately a BILLION dollars on their BP investment in just the last two months.

In total, the ten institutional holders listed above owned approximately 130 million shares of BP as of 03/31/2010. Multiply that by the $30/share or so that BP has dropped since March 31st and you have billions and billions of dollars in losses.

It should be interesting to see how long these institutional holders will hold on for before they start unloading their shares. What happens if BP trades down to $20? $15? Given everything that is currently taking place, this certainly seems like a distinct possibility.

Source: Yahoo! BP Quote - Major Holders

Filed under: General Knowledge

Related Articles