Imagine, for a moment, that we could go back in time to 2010 when BP was trading at $43 per share before the oil spill. Someone who considered the stock would have a seen a vast oil conglomerate with a 5% dividend yield that had a multi-decade track record of increasing the dividend over every five-year rolling period. If you wanted high current income, BP was exactly the kind of company you would want to own. It had a dominant franchise, a strong history, and the financials appeared to be trending upward.
The five-year period that followed was far worse than what a garden variety cynic would predict. There was the disastrous oil spill that cost BP north of $20+ billion in cumulative costs. In response, BP had to cut its dividend and sell off a fifth of its assets. Then, a previously lucrative partnership grew shaky in the midst … Read the rest of this article!