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Next Week: Be Prepared for BP's Results

LONDON -- Oil super-major BP  (LSE: BP  ) (NYSE: BP  ) is due to announce its annual results on Tuesday this coming week (Feb. 5). At the time of writing, the shares of this FTSE 100 giant are trading at 476 pence -- barely changed from a year ago compared with an 11% rise in the Footsie.

How will BP's business have performed in 2012 compared with last year? And will the results justify the weak performance of the shares? Here's your cut-out-and-check results table!


FY 2011

Forecast FY 2012

Forecast FY growth





Earnings per share (EPS)




Dividend per share




BP has seen quarter-on-quarter declines in revenue through the first nine months of 2012, and analysts are forecasting more of the same in the fourth quarter.





Q4 (forecast)

Revenue ($bn)





If analyst Q4 forecasts are on the button, revenue for the full year of $362 billion will be down close to 4% on the 2011 number.

Earnings and dividend
BP has done EPS of $0.52 for the first nine months of 2012, which is 45% below the same period last year. However, analysts are expecting a stronger earnings performance in Q4, raising the full-year EPS to around $0.88 and moderating the year-on-year decline to around 35%.

BP cancelled its dividend payments in June 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. When the company reinstated the dividend for Q4 2010, it did so at half the pre-spill level with the intention of growing the payout "in line with the improving circumstances of the company".

BP has paid three quarterly dividends so far for 2012, totaling $0.25 per share -- 19% ahead of the $0.21 declared for the same period in 2011. Analyst forecasts for a Q4 dividend of $0.09 would bring the full-year payout to $0.34, or around 21.5 pence in sterling. Note, though, that you won't get to hear the Q4 sterling dividend until March when BP announces the applicable dollar-sterling exchange rate.

BP made good progress in 2012 by settling its Deepwater Horizon liabilities on a number of fronts and by reaching an agreement that will shift its interest in Russian oil from a partnership with oligarchs to a stake in state-controlled Rosneft. Despite these positive developments -- on which you can expect to hear more in the upcoming results -- BP's shares have made no headway over the past year.

Based on a share price of 476 pence, and full-year forecast EPS in sterling of around 56 pence, BP is on a price-to-earnings ratio of just 8.5 -- well below the market average. The stock also offers a better-than-average dividend yield of 4.5%.

The oil super-majors are popular core holdings for many investors, and are currently trading on "value" ratings. But if you fancy being a little more adventurous and want to learn about how to really strike it rich in the oil and gas sector, I recommend you download the Motley Fool's latest guide, "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares."

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