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How safe is the BP dividend payment?

Bp (LON:BP.) is a large cap integrated oil and gas company that also owns an interest in Rosneft.

For the six months ended 30 June 2019, BP plc revenues decreased 3% to $139bn and net income decreased 8% to $4.76bn.. The group pays out an attractive rolling dividend yield of 6.52%, which is forecast to rise by 1.71% over the next year.

I'd like to know how safe BP's dividend is. Dividend cover (earnings per share divided by dividend per share) of two times or above is strong. Anything below one and a half times suggests we need to look a little closer.


Computing BP's dividend cover ratio

Poor dividend cover means that a small decline in earnings could consign your dividend payment to the scrap heap. It could also mean that the company is forgoing profitable investment opportunities that could generate future earnings growth. With that in mind, let’s take a look at BP dividend cover.

We can get all the information we need to see if BP has an adequate level of dividend cover from the group’s StockReport. The group’s trailing twelve month (TTM) EPS is 0.44 and its TTM dividend per share is 0.41.

Divide the former by the latter and we get a trailing twelve-month dividend cover for BP of 1.06. This is below the 1.5 times cover limit that marks the point at which we should do some further digging on dividend sustainability and safety.

Income investing: what you need to know

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As for Bp (LON:BP.), you can find a wealth of financial data on the group's StockReport, including information on the group's past and forecast dividend payments. If you’d like to discover more about dividend investing, you can read our free ebook: How to Make Money in Dividend Stocks.