BP shares were headed for their best performance since February on Tuesday, after the oil giant announced $1.4 billion in share buybacks and a dividend boost following upbeat results.
A 5% pop in BP shares
— making for the best one-day percentage gain since February — helped underpin a 0.3% rise for the FTSE 100 index
which was trading at 7,110.97. The best performing sector was integrated oil and the worst was casino and gaming, with shares of Flutter Entertainment
BP reported an underlying profit on a replacement cost basis of $2.80 billion that easily beat forecasts for $2.15 billion. It also increased the dividend for its second quarter, and said the share buybacks would be executed before the release of third-quarter results..
‘’BP isn’t quite throwing caution to the wind, but the company’s steady as she goes approach has been infused with optimism as higher oil prices make immediate prospects look brighter,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown.
One question for investors is what kind of returns BP can manage in future from a a growing portfolio of green energy investments. “Right now on the tight rope of change, BP is still highly reliant on its fossil fuel portfolio, but there are likely to be wobbles ahead, as green targets loom and BP tries to cross the chasm to reach a low carbon future,” Streeter told clients in a note.
Elsewhere, in the mid-cap FTSE 250
the bigger gainer was Hiscox
which climbed 8% after the specialist insurer swung to a first-half pretax profit and said it was confidence about the rest of 2021. The company also resumed its dividend.
The biggest mid-cap decliner was Rotork
which fell 6%. The manufacturer of valve actuation equipment reported upbeat results, but also announced its chief executive officer, Kevin Hostetler, is stepping down and will return to the U.S. next year.
The “unexpected CEO announcement will likely put pressure on shares today given his performance since joining Rotork as CEO in 2018,” said analyst Edward Maravanyika, in a note to clients.
Shares of Domino’s Pizza
climbed over 2% after the fast-food group said after-tax profit more-than-doubled for the first half of 2021, and it also reported an upbeat start to the second half.