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BP fourth quarter profits fall

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BP has boosted its dividend payout after a 26% drop in fourth-quarter profit on lower oil and gas prices which still beat forecasts.

On chief executive’s Bob Dudley last day in office, London-based BP increased its dividend by 2.4% to 10.5 cents per share.

It reported $2.57bn in fourth-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, its definition of net income, exceeding forecasts of $2.1bn in a company-provided survey of analysts.

That was down from $3.5bn a year earlier but up from $2.3bn in the third quarter.

Russ Mould for AJ Bell said: “After nearly a decade in charge, BP CEO Bob Dudley bows out in a decent fashion with today’s fourth quarter and full year results.

“Dudley has received plaudits for the repair job he conducted at the oil major in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and his will be big shoes to fill.

“Fourth quarter profit was down sharply but this was to be expected given the recent pressure on oil prices. And, not for the first time in recent years, the company still outmatched expectations while also hiking the dividend.

“This is testament to the streamlined and well-oiled machine which Dudley has successfully turned the company into.

“The sell-off in oil, linked to the impact of China’s coronavirus, has somewhat spoiled Dudley’s card although he still delivered a respectable 60%-plus total return for investors over his tenure despite a lot of background volatility.

“One area where Dudley has drawn criticism is climate change and this is an issue on which his successor Bernard Looney is likely to face increasing pressure.

“A key focus is whether BP should be responsible for its own emissions or for indirect emissions caused by consumption of its oil and gas.

“This is likely to contribute to the particularly testing job which Looney faces, which arguably rivals the one Dudley faced when he took charge at the company’s moment of crisis in 2010.”




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