BP is an international dividend achiever as well as a component of the British FTSE 100 index. It has been increasing its stock dividends for the past 9 consecutive years. From the end of 1997 up until August 2008 this dividend growth stock has delivered an annual average total return of 6.90 % to its shareholders.
At the same time company has managed to deliver an 22.80% average annual increase in its EPS since 1998, helped by a massive rise in commodities.
The ROE has ranged between 10% and 29% over the past 10 years.
Annual dividend payments have increased over the past 10 years by an average of 7.00% annually, which is equal to the growth in EPS. A 7% growth in dividends translates into the dividend payment doubling almost every ten years. The current annual dividend payment is double what it was in 1999.
If we invested $100,000 in BP on December 31, 1997 we would have bought 2510 shares (Adjusted for a 2:1 stock split in October 1999). In February 1998 your quarterly dividend income would have been $883.52. If you kept reinvesting the dividends though instead of spending them, this dividend stock would have produced a quarterly dividend income of $2974.44 by August 2008. For a period of 10 years, your quarterly dividend payment would have increased by 139%. If you reinvested it though, your quarterly dividend income would have increased by 237%.
The dividend payout ratio has decreased from over 100% in 1998 to hover around 40% in recent years. A lower payout is always a plus, since it leaves room for consistent dividend growth minimizing the impact of short-term fluctuations in earnings.
I think that BP is attractively valued with its low price/earnings multiple of 8 and low dividend payout ratio as well as the above average dividend yield of 5.8%. The dividend yield and P/E ratio at the moment are much lower than what they have been over the past decade.
Disclosure: I do not own shares of BP