Why Value And Dividend Investors Should Love BP

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 |  About: BP p.l.c. (BP), Includes: CVX, XOM
by: Bret Jensen

I am by nature a contrarian value investor who prefers stocks with low valuations, solid growth prospects and whose shares are temporarily undervalued by the market. I also like high dividend payers whose payouts should increase in the future. Sometimes a stock presents itself that appeals both my value and dividend desires. One such stock is BP Plc (BP)

4 reasons BP should appeal to dividend investors.

  • The stock yields 4.5% and just raised its dividend payment for the first time since the Gulf Oil Spill. Its dividend yield is higher than peers Chevron (CVX) at 3.2% and Exxon (XOM) at 2.2%.
  • BP just settled with the majority of the plaintiffs in that spill, which should free it up to increase dividend payouts in the near future.
  • Investors should remember that BP was paying $3.36 a share in annual dividends prior to spill. It is now paying $1.92 annually, even after February's increase. The company has far to go before it gets to its prior dividend level.
  • It has a payout ratio of less than 30% and an A rated balance sheet, both of which support higher dividend levels in the future.

4 reasons the stock has significant value at $43 a share.

  • The median price target on BP is $54. S&P has a $58 price target on the stock.
  • Analysts project BP will start to grow revenues again in FY2013, and it is priced at just over 6 times forward earnings.
  • The stock is cheap at 36% of annual revenues and is just 23% over its book value.
  • The company is a cash flow machine (Over $20B a year) and sells for just 6 times operating cash flow. Estimates for FY2012 and FY2013 have ticked up over the last week as well.

Disclosure: I am long (BP).