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ConocoPhillips Lowers Dividend to Combat Oil Price Woes

ConocoPhillips COP announced a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share, which is payable on Jun 1 to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 20, 2016. The latest payout marks a plunge of nearly 66% from 73 cents paid in the year ago quarter.

The ongoing oil price slaughter has compelled most companies to reduce capital expenditure. This is particularly true for exploration and production (E&P) companies like ConocoPhillips. The company has lowered its capital expenditure guidance to $6.4 billion from $7.7 billion and revised its operating cost projection to $7.0 billion from $7.7 billion.

Taking into account the full-year impact of asset divestitures in 2015, production in 2016 is expected to remain flat year over year.

With leading positions in both natural gas and heavy crude oil in North America, a legacy position in the North Sea along with growing exposure to lucrative international regions, ConocoPhillips expects to replace reserves and sustain production growth over the long term.

Despite cuts in capital spending, ConocoPhillips expects major capital projects to be brought online in 2016. Surmount 2 and APLNG as well as further ramp up of Foster Creek/Christina Lake is expected to facilitate production growth by 1% in 2016. The company also expects to lower operating expenses during this period.

Further, ConocoPhillips is poised to benefit from a pipeline of projects in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Malaysia, the liquefied natural gas project in Australia, the U.K., Norway, and the Canadian oil sands, as well as the U.S. Lower 48 liquids-rich plays. Oil sands expansion projects are on track. Last September, Foster Creek Phase F and the Britannia Long-Term Compression Project reported first yield, while the Gumusut floating production system achieved first production in October. These ramp-up activities are expected to fuel ConocoPhillips’ long-term production growth.
Currently, ConocoPhillips carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and gas sector include Pembina Pipeline Corporation PBA, Transocean Partners LLC RIGP and Braskem S.A. BAK. All these sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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TRANSOCEAN PTN (RIGP): Free Stock Analysis Report
BRASKEM SA (BAK): Free Stock Analysis Report
CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report
PEMBINA PIPELN (PBA): Free Stock Analysis Report
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