SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

September 30, 2011 08:16 ET

Oil Stocks Maintain Safe Haven Appeal With Strong Dividends

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on BP and Chevron

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 30, 2011) - For roughly two months benchmark oil prices have been pulled in opposite directions as analysts and traders try to gauge future petroleum demand. While the stock prices of these oil companies may be more volatile than usual, many of the major oil companies in the sector continue to offer steady dividends. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides equity research on BP PLC (NYSE: BP) (LSE: BP) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

Abdalla Salem El-Badri, Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), argues that the recent fall in the price of oil has been partly caused by speculation in the oil market. Oil prices took a hit after OPEC sharply revised down its forecast for world oil demand for this year and expected consumption would remain weak in 2012, citing waning economic growth in key industrialized nations and a weak US driving season.

In North America and Europe, demand is way down. Western countries already were expected to see declining demand as their economies struggle to grow. Those concerns grew Wednesday when the U.S. reported unexpectedly large crude supplies and weak gasoline demand.

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Underscoring Big Oil's growing interest in unconventional oil and gas reserves in North America, Chevron recently acquired about 200,000 acres of land in the Duvernay shale gas formation in Alberta, Canada. Chevron pays an annual dividend of $3.12 per share for a yield of around 3.4 percent.

BP reported a net profit of $5.6 billion for the three months ending June 30, compared with a loss of $17.2 billion a year earlier. During the second quarter, its oil and gas production was 3.43 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, down 11 percent from a year earlier as a result of ongoing impacts in the Gulf of Mexico. BP pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share for a hefty yield of around 4.5 percent.

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