Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Europe’s second-biggest oil company, will buy back $4 billion in shares a year starting in 2013 after it finishes paying off the U.S. fund for legal claims from the Gulf of Mexico spill, Barclays Capital predicted.
BP said today that it will complete payments into the $20 billion fund demanded by President Barack Obama by the end of 2012. The company aims to boost cash flow 50 percent by 2014, focusing on lifting output from its most profitable fields.
“We currently forecast that the company will restore a share repurchase program in 2013, buying back $4 billion,” Barclays Capital analyst Lucy Haskins said in an e-mailed note. Assuming a 5 percent increase in the dividend from 2012, total shareholder returns would rise by $4.5 billion, she said.
BP suspended dividends for three quarters last year to shore up its balance sheet as it wrote off more than $40 billion from the spill. It reinstated the dividend for the fourth quarter at half the previous level, and the shares are still down more than 30 percent since the accident.
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