Has BP Finally Moved Past the Deepwater Horizon Disaster?

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ollesvensson/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ollesvensson/

BP (NYSE:BP) stock advanced as much a 4 percent in early trading on Tuesday after the multinational oil and gas company reported third-quarter financial results. Consolidated underlying replacement cost profit — an accounting method that adjusts for the constantly fluctuating price of oil, similar to “last in, first out” — fell 26 percent on the year to $3.7 billion. Underlying earnings per share fell 26 percent on the year to about 20 cents. On a replacement-cost basis, adjusted earnings of $1.17 per American depository share beat the mean analyst estimate of $1.

Good news kept coming for shareholders. The company announced that it was hiking its dividend 5.6 percent to 9.5 cents per share and that it would be selling off another $10 billion in assets before the end of 2015, with most of the proceeds going toward share repurchases. BP previously announced an $8 billion share repurchase program — this program was funded largely by the $12 billion sale of BP’s stake in TNK-BP — of which $3.8 billion had been completed by October 25.

Importantly, BP reported that operating cash flow edged up by $100 million on the year to $6.3 billion, indicating that the company’s core business mechanism is still working smoothly despite company reorganization, economic headwinds, and ongoing legal struggles.

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