BP Raises Dividend, Beats on Earnings and Revenue

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) reported third-quarter 2012 results in London earlier this morning. The oil supermajor posted adjusted diluted earnings per ADS of $1.63 on revenues of $90.6 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported earnings per ADS of $1.73 on revenues of $95.4 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for earnings per ADS of $1.29 and $88.89 billion in revenues. One ADS is equal to six ordinary shares.

The British-based company also raised its quarterly dividend 12.5% to $0.54 per ADS.

The company's CEO said:

BP's performance and the strong progress we are making in transforming the company give us the confidence to increase distributions to our shareholders. We are on track with our strategy to 2014 and are laying the right foundations for sustainable growth during the coming decade.

In comments related to the Gulf oil spill of 2010, the company noted that it had paid out $8.8 billion in claims, $7.1 billion of which went to individuals and businesses. The company has recognized a total cumulative charge to date of $38.1 billion, but as BP noted, "The total amounts that will ultimately be paid by BP in relation to all the obligations relating to the Incident are subject to significant uncertainty and the ultimate exposure and cost to BP will be dependent on many factors …"

Of BP's net profit of $5.17 billion, $1.29 billion is attributed to its 50% stake in TNK-BP, the Russian subsidiary that the company recently announced it would sell for $17.1 billion and a 12.84% stake in the buyer, Russia's state-controlled oil giant Rosneft.

Third-quarter production totaled 2.26 million barrels of oil per day equivalent, roughly equal to the second quarter and down 3% from the third quarter of 2011. The company said production is expected to rise in the fourth quarter as maintenance at some sites is completed and new projects continue to ramp up.

BP noted that it has completed the sale of some $35 billion in assets since 2010, against a target of $38.1 billion. That total does not include the proceeds from the sale of its share of TNK-BP.

The company's shares closed at $41.73 last Friday, in a 52-week range of $36.25 to $48.34. Equity markets are closed in the United States again today because of Hurricane Sandy. The consensus target price for the shares was around $50.81 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

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