BP Raises Dividend as Profit Beats Estimates and CEO Steps Down

BP raised its dividend and stated it had completed a $1.5 billion share buyback in an indication of confidence in its growing oil and fuel business on the last day in the office for CEO Bob Dudley.

BP shares were trading 4.5% higher on Tuesday, on track for their greatest daily yield over a year after the firm’s profit beat estimates for the twelfth quarter in a series.

As Bernard Looney is due to take the helm, BP struck a positive tone even as oil costs slumped to a near year-low on concerns over China’s coronavirus, bucking a trend among peers that noticed a sheer slowdown in revenues last week.

The shareholder rewards came as the London-based firm posted a 26% fall in fourth-quarter profit, which beat forecasts.

Cash circulation climbed by over 10% last year to $25.8 billion, regardless of lower commodity prices, because of higher production – notably in U.S. shale following the purchase of BHP assets.

Still, BP’s debt-to-capital ratio called gearing, climbed by the end of last year from a year prior, even though BP sold $9.4 billion of assets, underlying the strain oil corporations face as demand for fuels and chemicals contracted in 2019.

Competitors ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron reported sharp declines in 2019 revenues due to softer demand.

Dudley, 64, departs after a decade at BP’s wheel. He was abruptly ushered in as chief executive in October 2010 after his predecessor Tony Hayward left in the wake of the deadly Deepwater Horizon spill in the Mexican Gulf.