Super-major BP (LSE: BP ) (NYSE: BP ) needs little introduction. For decades, it has been a cornerstone investment of many investors' portfolios. Today, the company stands at a crucial point in its history.
Three years since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, it is still unclear how much BP will have to pay in compensation. Recent speculation has suggested that the scale of future dividends could be under threat. On the other hand, BP now has a more secure position in Russia thanks to its deal with state oil company Rosneft.
Earnings per share (EPS) at BP is expected to hit $0.94 in 2014, with the shares yielding $0.39. That equates to a 2014 yield of 5.4%, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 7.8.
GKN (LSE: GKN ) is a specialist engineering and manufacturing company. The automotive industry is a key market for GKN. As a result, profits can be highly variable. The company reported losses in 2008 and 2009. The dividend was cut in 2008 and dropped entirely the year after. Since then, reported net profits have been more than £300 million in each of 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Expectations are for EPS to dip this year, followed by a large rise in 2014. GKN is forecast to deliver double-digit dividend growth this year and next. That puts the shares on a 2014 P/E of 10.2, with an expected yield of 2.9%.
Resources company Vedanta Resources (LSE: VED ) is one of the most volatile shares in the FTSE 100. In the last five years, the shares have lost almost half of their value. However, in the last 12 months, they are up nearly 40%. In the last month alone, the shares are up 18.4%.
Vedanta's significant operations in both metals and oil distinguish it from its peers which typically focus on one only.
Unusually for such a volatile share, Vedanta is a significant dividend payer. Last year's payout of $0.57 equates to a 2.8% yield at today's price. The dividend is expected to reach $0.59 in 2014. Earnings are also forecast to continue rising. This puts the shares on a 2014 P/E of 9.9, with a forecast yield of 2.9%.
Buying shares in great companies at reasonable prices is a specialty of the world's top investor, Warren Buffett. Recently, he has been hoovering up shares in another FTSE 100 company. To find out which company this billionaire stock-picker has been buying, get the free Motley Fool report "The One UK Share Warren Buffett Loves". This report is totally free and will be delivered to your inbox immediately. Just click here to get your copy today.