By Jaime Llinares Taboada
BP PLC said Tuesday that it increased the dividend for its second quarter and launched a $1.4 billion share buyback.
The British oil-and-gas major declared a quarterly dividend of 5.46 cents a share, up from 5.25 cents for the first quarter. The $1.4 billion buyback is planned to be executed before the release of third-quarter results, BP said.
Increased distributions are based on the underlying performance of the business, an improving outlook for the environment and confidence in its balance sheet, it said.
BP said it expects to be able to deliver quarterly buybacks of around $1.0 billion and to grow the dividend by around 4% through 2025, assuming an oil price of $60 a barrel.
In addition, BP reported a net profit of $3.12 billion for the three months to June, down from $4.67 billion for the first quarter.
However, the underlying profit on a replacement cost basis increased to $2.80 billion from $2.63 billion in the first quarter, and was well above the market consensus of $2.15 billion that was compiled by the company and averaged from 24 brokers.
The improvement was driven by higher oil prices and margins, which offset a lower result in gas marketing and trading, BP said.
For the third quarter, the London-based energy company said it expects higher upstream production than in April-June, higher product demand across its customer business, and slightly improved refining margins.
BP continues to expect divestment and other proceeds for the year to reach $5 billion-$6 billion during the latter stages of 2021; and capital expenditure of $13 billion over the whole year.
Upstream production is expected to fall in 2021 from 2020 as a result of the divestment program, even although underlying production should be slightly higher, the company said.
Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at firstname.lastname@example.org; @JaimeLlinaresT
(END) Dow Jones Newswires