BP PLC, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, reinstated the dividend that was suspended after the Gulf of Mexico spill as higher oil prices lifted earnings.
The company will pay a dividend of US$0.07 a share for the last three months of last year after canceling the payout for the first three quarters of the year. That compared with US$0.14 before the spill. It plans to sell its Texas City and Carson refineries by the end of next year.
CEO Robert Dudley is seeking to extend BP’s 60 percent share-price recovery since June following the worst spill in US history that cost his predecessor, Tony Hayward, his job.
The company has shored up finances by raising US$22 billion from asset sales and agreed to a US$8 billion share swap with OAO Rosneft to give it access to untapped Russian reserves in the Arctic Kara Sea.
Fourth-quarter net income was US$5.6 billion, compared with US$4.3 billion in the year-earlier period, the London-based company said in a statement in London.
Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest company, on Monday reported its highest quarterly profit in more than two years of US$9.25 billion.
BP announced the restoration of the dividend even after its billionaire partners in TNK-BP voted to block the Russian joint venture’s US$1.8 billion dividend while it disputes the Rosneft deal. TNK-BP accounts for a quarter of BP’s output and a fifth of its reserves.
In October, BP agreed to sell operations in Vietnam and Venezuela to TNK-BP for US$1.8 billion. BP pledged to sell as much as US$30 billion of assets to help cover costs from the spill and the US$20 billion fund set up with US President Barack Obama to compensate victims. Kenneth Feinberg, who is administering the fund, said in a Dec. 31 Bloomberg Television interview that US$10 billion may be “more than enough to pay all the claims.”
BP took charges totaling US$40 billion in the second and third quarters to account for the cost of the Gulf spill.
BP’s earnings were bolstered by higher oil prices and improved refining margins. Brent futures have gained more than 25 percent since the start of last year. BP’s Global Indicator Margin, a broad measure of refining profitability, averaged US$4.64 a barrel in the fourth quarter, up from US$1.49 in the year-earlier period.
Upon taking the helm on Oct. 1, Dudley split the exploration and production division into three, ousting executive director Andy Inglis in the process, and created an independent safety division.
He reiterated that the company won’t turn its back on the US after the spill, where the Gulf of Mexico accounts for about a tenth of BP’s global production.
Just a few years ago, the millennial generation — generally defined as those born from the early 1980s through the mid-1990s — was synonymous with youthful rebellion. However, now, as the millennials ease into early middle age, they are finding their path out of their parents’ basement to be a lot harder than it was for earlier generations. The fundamental problem is that millennials are not building wealth. The wealth of the median US household headed by someone 35 or younger has actually shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since the mid-2000s, even as the wealth of older Americans has continued to grow. An
Apple Inc’s decision to stop using Intel Corp processors in its Mac computers and switching to its own chips might benefit Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and boost Taiwan’s high-tech exports, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) said in a note on Tuesday. The US tech giant announced the “Apple silicon” initiative at its annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which started on Monday. The company said the first Mac powered by its own chips would debut by the end of this year and all product lines might shift to the new architecture in the next two years. TSMC is likely to
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not