NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of BP Plc (BP - Get Report) are higher by 3.32% to $50.67 after the oil and gas company increased its quarterly dividend for the second time in six months, Reuters reported.
BP said more share buy-backs were on the cards, showing how the British oil company's asset sales are providing more cash for investors, Reuters noted.
The company will increase its quarterly dividend to 9.75 cents per share, to be paid in June, 8.3% above a year ago.
BP today reported a 24% decline in first quarter underlying replacement cost profit to $3.2 billion, just ahead of a consensus forecast of $3.1 billion.
Profits were also affected by a drop in the contribution from BP's stake in Rosneft, the Russian oil company.
TheStreet Ratings team rates BP PLC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BP PLC (BP) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, increase in stock price during the past year, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BP PLC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 7.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: BP Ratings Report