BP Lifts Dividend by 12.5%

LONDON -- The shares of BP (LSE: BP.L  ) (NYSE: BP  ) jumped 15 pence, or 4%, to 440 pence in early London trade this morning after the oil group lifted its quarterly dividend by 12.5%.

The FTSE 100 member said its third-quarter payout had been raised to $0.09 per share. BP's dividend had previously been running at $0.08 per quarter this year, and $0.07 per quarter during 2011.

At a an exchange rate of 1 pound to $1.60, a $0.09 per share per quarter payout could mean the annualized dividend may be around 22.5 pence per share. For context, BP's full-year payout was approximately 35 pence per share prior to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The spill prompted BP to suspend the payout for nine months during 2010.

Today's dividend news from BP accompanied third-quarter results that showed an underlying replacement cost profit of $5.2 billion. The performance compared with a $3.7 billion figure for the second quarter and a $5.5 billion result from the third quarter of 2011.

Production during July, August, and September came to 2.26 million barrels of oil a day. Operating cash flow for the quarter was $6.3 billion, while net debt now stands at $32 billion.

BP's chief executive, Bob Dudley, 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.

Based on today's lifted dividend, BP's shares currently offer a potential 5.1% income Indeed, the company is just one of a number of FTSE large caps that offers a dividend yield well ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account.

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Maynard Paton does not own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool does not own shares of any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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