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Total Raises Dividend, Plans Growth as Earnings Beat Est

06744 CC Trader Talk V2

We maintain our price target on this stock of €56.60 (20% potential upside)

Dividend yield now 5.23%

    • Company targets 10 upstream investment decisions in 18 months
    • Cash flow to fund dividend, spending at $50 a barrel in 2017

    Total SA raised its dividend by 1.6 percent and said it may give the go-ahead for almost a dozen new projects in the next 18 months after fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates.

    Adjusted net income climbed 16 percent from a year earlier to $2.41 billion due to rising oil and gas production and cost cuts, the company based in Courbevoie near Paris said in a statement Thursday. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.23 billion, according to the average of 16estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

    “We’re going to propose to increase the dividend as we have confidence in the future,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told reporters in Paris. “My goal is to launch new projects to prepare the future, while remaining disciplined and cutting costs further because crude prices might drift lower.”

    Total’s confident appraisal of the year ahead belied what was otherwise a difficult fourth quarter for major oil companies. The French producer’s peers BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. all fell short of analysts’ estimates as rising profits from oil and gas production failed to fully offset weaker earnings from refining and trading.