BP expected to restore dividend

 
City A.M. Reporter
Oil giant BP is expected to reinstate its dividend when it unveils fourth quarter earnings on Tuesday, after it cancelled the payout at the height of the oil spill last summer.

Analysts predict BP will announce a payout of seven cents a share for the quarter, down from the 14 cents/share dividend for the fourth quarter of 2009.

"The key announcement for BP will be whether the company restores the dividend. We expect it will be able to do so, given robust cashflows and reasonable progress on the divestment plan," Oswald Clint, oil analyst at Bernstein, said.

BP's fourth quarter earnings are expected to be "solid" despite the impact of the spill, Gordon Gray at Collins Stewart said.