Last week, both BP and Royal Dutch Shell announced their third quarterly result. Both reported that results were boosted by higher refining margins, which are unlikely to continue into the fourth quarter.
Worryingly, for the first nine months of 2012 BP’s production was down by 5.3 percent on 2011, while Shell has managed a 1 per cent increase in production so far in 2012. Both provide dividend yields of between 4 percent and 5 percent.
Royal Dutch Shell
Shell’s quarterly dividend has been increased by a minuscule US$0.01 to US$43 which will be paid on December 20. The shares trade without entitlement to this payment from November 14.
The group’s underlying net profit fell 6 percent but still came in ahead of investor expectations thanks to the strength in refining margins – a one-time reprieve, though(!) – while Shell’s Nigerian problems continue unabated. Shell was also forced to write down its US natural gas assets, due to weak prices in the local gas markets, though not as much as many commentators had feared.
Click Here for more information on Shell’s third quarter results and dividend prospects.
BP raised its quarterly dividend to US$0.09, going ex-dividend on 7 November and will be paid on 21 December. The sterling value will be announced on 10 December.
Last year’s third quarter dividend was US$0.07 so you could say a massive improvement of 28.6 per cent on that whilst the last three quarters were all US$0.08 for a rise of 12.5 percent on those. While this is great, please be aware that we are still a long way off those great dividend payments pre the Gulf of Mexico disaster when BP was paying US$0.14 per quarter.
Early next year, I think we can also expect much fireworks (and, potentially bad publicity) when BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster court case starts.
Click Here for more information on BP’s third quarter results and dividend prospects.
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Company results and dividends
Several other dividend paying companies released trading statements rather than interim or full results, including:
Unilever’s third quarter sales showed underlying growth of 6.6 percent with emerging markets up 11.7 percent. For the full year, they remain confident to deliver a modest improvement in core operating margin.
The dividend remains the same in Euro terms that is, the dividend will be €24.3¢. In sterling this becomes 19.77 pence going ex-dividend on 0 November and is payable on 12 December.
In Euros this is up 8.0% from the 22.5¢ paid for Q3 last year. At the time, that converted to just 19.24 pence due to the weakening of the euro over the twelve months.
British Sky Broadcasting released first quarter results reporting growth in customer numbers, up 533,000, while announcing that one in three customers now buys the ‘triple service package’ consisting of TV, phone and internet. This resulted in revenues up 3.5 percent and earning per share up by 15.5 percent.
Unfortunately, BSkyB is not a quarterly dividend payer. The consensus dividend forecast for their current year to June 2013 is around 28 pence.
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