Three reasons why I may buy more of this troubled FTSE 100 oil giant

Short-term management troubles aside, this FTSE 100 giant appears undervalued, recently increased its dividends, and works in a bullish operating space.

| More on:

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Two white male workmen working on site at an oil rig

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

The 12 September resignation of CEO Bernard Looney has cast a pall over FTSE 100 giant BP (LSE: BP). This appears to have put the brakes on a bullish price rise in its shares since 23 August.

In my experience though, only very rarely does a company suffer over the long term through the loss of a CEO. And I do not think BP will.

Instead, the resultant stalling in the share price may offer a good opportunity for me to add to my holding, for three key reasons.

Bullish oil price

The benchmark Brent oil price is at its highest level since 17 November last year. This is also generally supportive of gas prices, as historically 70% of these derive from the price of oil.

More important for me is that the momentum shows little sign of slowing down any time soon.

Saudi Arabia announced on 5 September that its 1m barrel-per-day (B/D) production cut will continue to the end of the year. Russia said it would extend its export cuts of 300,000 B/D for the same period.

The economy of China – the world’s largest gross crude oil importer – is also showing signs of recovery.

Year-on-year, it expanded 6.3% in Q2 — significantly better than the 4.5% rise in Q1. Industrial production and retail sales figures released on 15 September were also much better than expected.

There is the risk, of course, that this bullish oil price momentum does not continue. Another risk for the share price is that lobbying by anti-oil groups may affect its operations.

Undervalued to peers

According to the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio measurement, BP is currently significantly undervalued to its peers.

It trades at a P/E of 5.9, while Shell trades at 7.3, TotalEnergies at 8.1, and China Petroleum & Chemical at 8.6. Factoring in the outlier in the group — Brazil’s Petrobras — the peer average is 6.7.

BP is also undervalued compared to the present average 10.8 trailing P/E of the FTSE 100.

Increased shareholder rewards

Last year, the company’s total dividend was 24 cents per share, split over four payments. Based on the current exchange rate and share price of £5.25, this gives a yield of 3.5%. This is not very exciting for me, as the average FTSE 100 yield is 3.9% now.

However, the Q1 and Q2 dividend payments were 21% higher than the same payments last year. Specifically, Q1 2022’s was 5.46 cents against this year’s 6.61 cents, and Q2’s was 7.27 against this year’s 6.006 cents.

If that rise was applied to this year’s dividend, based on the current share price, the yield would be 5.5%.

Additionally positive is that BP committed to using 60% of 2023 surplus cash flow for share buybacks. It will undertake another $1.5bn buyback prior to reporting Q3 results. This is generally supportive of a company’s share price.

These three reasons are more than sufficient for me to consider adding to my BP holding. All the more so as it is trading 8% lower than it was at the start of the year.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Simon Watkins has positions in Bp P.l.c. and Shell Plc. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

More on Investing Articles

Mature Caucasian woman sat at a table with coffee and laptop while making notes on paper
Investing Articles

Down 11%, a brilliant FTSE 250 growth stock I’d buy on the dip!

I think Games Workshop shares are a brilliant dip buy following last week's slump. Here's why it's one of my…

Read more »

Middle-aged black male working at home desk
Investing Articles

Are these top-traded FTSE 100 shares the best to buy for 2024?

The market has disagreed with me pretty much all year on the best buys among FTSE 100 shares. But, are…

Read more »

Young black colleagues high-fiving each other at work
Investing Articles

My five favourite forms of passive income

I've been looking for ways to pump up my passive income, so I can retire richer. But which of these…

Read more »

Silhouette of a bull standing on top of a landscape with the sun setting behind it
Investing Articles

What’s the FTSE 100’s best 10% dividend yield?

Depressed prices have thrown up some golden opportunities on the FTSE 100. Which of these 10%-yielding Footsie stocks should I…

Read more »

Two white male workmen working on site at an oil rig
Investing Articles

BP shares look dirt cheap

Are BP shares a brilliant bargain? The financials look excellent and it’s hard not to call them anything other than…

Read more »

Mindful young woman breathing out with closed eyes, calming down in stressful situation, working on computer in modern kitchen.
Investing Articles

My 12 fears for the stock market in 2024

After a terrific year for global stock markets in 2023, what can I look forward to in 2024? As a…

Read more »

Young woman working at modern office. Technical price graph and indicator, red and green candlestick chart and stock trading computer screen background.
Investing Articles

2 income shares for bumper dividends in 2024

I own these two income shares for their outstanding ability to deliver billions of pounds of cash dividends each year…

Read more »

Investing Articles

Could the IAG share price hit £2.11 in 2024?

According to analysts, the IAG share price could be headed for £2.11. But Stephen Wright wonders whether the stock is…

Read more »