NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although other exploration and production oil companies can look to a bright future past the temporary trough in oil prices, for BP (BP) the challenges put that prospect in doubt.
Shares of the oil giant have lost more than 11% in the past three months. Although shares of other leading oil producers have also fallen, they have fared better: Shares of Chevron (CVX) and ExxonMobil (XOM) declined by 7% and 3%, respectively, during the past three months.
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BP's latest earnings results didn't meet market expectations, as the company's adjusted earnings per share came in at just 99 cents, 20 cents below analysts' consensus estimates and 18 cents below those reported a year earlier. Lower oil prices have contributed to the decline in the company's profitability, as indicated in the chart below.
Source of data: Google finance and EIA
Additional issues that adversely affected BP's bottom line include higher effective tax rates and a 0.7% decline in its production, year over year.
Also, the company's earnings from Russian oil and gas producer Rosneft were just $107 million. By comparison, in the second quarter, the profit from the Russian company was a little more than $1 billion.
U.S. and European sanctions on Russia, due to the country's feud with Ukraine, have already hurt Rosneft's bottom line.
In the third quarter, the company's net earnings were just 1 billion Russian rubles or about $21 million. A year earlier, its earnings were 143 billion Russian rubles or about $3.1 billion.
In addition, the ruble has devalued by nearly 16% since the end of the second quarter. The continuing depreciation of the ruble may contract BP's profits that it will record from Rosneft.
But the drop in BP's earnings didn't stop the company from further paying back its investors by repurchasing stocks. In the past quarter the company bought $1.6 billion worth of shares.
BP also raised its quarterly dividend to 60 cents a share, bringing its annual dividend yield to 5.5%. By comparison, Chevron offers a 3.6% annual yield, while Exxon Mobil provides shareholders with a 2.9% annual yield.