If I’m going to be critical of Total SA for giving up one of its competitive advantages (namely, selling off specialty chemical business lines that act as offsets to provide profits coming into the Courbevoie headquarters when profits are low), then it is only fair that I acknowledge what Total SA investors are getting as the benefit of the bargain for giving up some of its niche jewels.
First of all, Total SA investors get to continue collecting a dividend that remains largely intact. The highest dividend that Total SA ADR’s ever generated was $3.28 back in 2009. During the oil crunch period of 2014-2016, Total SA investors got to collect $3.16 per share in 2014, $2.73 per share in 2015, and an estimated $2.75 per share in 2016. It’s in quite the dividend growth line in the sand that you get with ExxonMobil, but it’s also a higher yield that gives you very large chunks of income that have remained largely intact.