Rising oil prices have been a boon for the overall industry including BP (NYSE: BP), which is going through a transition phase and expanding the convenience and renewable energy businesses. In H1 2021, the company generated $11.5 billion of cash from operations, repaid $7 billion of long-term debt – bringing the net debt down to $33 billion. Per the strategic footprint, the company is slated to return 60% of surplus cash as buybacks and announced a $1.4 billion share repurchase program with the second-quarter results. Considering the company’s deleveraging and capital return policy, Trefis believes that the stock is a good pick to realize long-term capital gains. We highlight the key factors driving BP Valuation including revenues, margins, valuation multiple, and competitive comparison with peers in an interactive dashboard analysis.
Deleveraging benefits: taking cues from the airline industry
The steep decline in benchmark oil prices due to the coronavirus crisis has led to the implementation of a deleveraging and capital conservation policy across the oil & gas industry. Declining profitability and an uncertain demand environment are two key reasons for this change. The airline industry has also been facing margin pressure due to growing competition and slow demand growth in recent years. In 2016, Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) implemented a deleveraging policy after acquiring Virgin America and restricted shareholder returns such as dividend payouts and buybacks. Thus, ALK stock has been rewarded by investors and currently trades at just 10% below pre-Covid levels. However, the shares of its competitor American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) remain 30% below pre-Covid highs and have followed a downward trajectory since 2018. In the article, What If American Airlines Had Implemented Alaska Air’s Capital Allocation Strategy?, we compare the capital allocation strategy of the two companies and how de-leveraging benefited Alaska Air Group.
BP’s changing asset base
Per the company’s capital investment plan, low carbon energy and mobility solutions businesses are likely to attract around 40% of the total investment by 2030. Notably, newer businesses and conventional hydrocarbons will receive a capital allocation of $5-7 billion and $9 billion, respectively. Anticipation of higher profits from convenience & mobility business is the key reason behind this shift. Per reports, hydrocarbon, convenience & mobility, and low carbon electricity businesses are expected to generate ROACE of 13%, 17%, and 9%, respectively. (Related: Banking On Renewables? Pick BP Stock Over Exxon)