Are Total’s Shareholder Returns Rising?

Total’s shareholder returns

Total (TOT) released its first-quarter earnings results on April 26, 2019. The company reiterated its commitment to delivering higher shareholder returns via dividends and buybacks.

In the first quarter of 2019, Total’s cash outflows toward net share repurchases and dividend payments stood at $0.5 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively.

Are Total’s Shareholder Returns Rising?

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Total has increased its dividend by 3.1% in 2019, in line with its target of raising its dividend by 10% from 2018 to 2020. Total will also cancel its scrip dividend option starting in June 2019. The company has declared its first interim dividend of 0.66 euros per share, which will have an ex-dividend date of September 27, 2019.

Moreover, Total’s buybacks are aimed at offsetting the dilution caused by its scrip dividend. Total plans to buy back $1.5 billion worth of shares in 2019 assuming Brent oil prices of $60 per barrel. The company also aims to purchase shares worth up to $5 billion from 2018 to 2020 to distribute the benefits of its higher earnings to shareholders.

Peer comparison

Total’s dividend yield currently stands at 5.2%. Its dividend yield represents its annualized dividend as a percentage of its stock price.

Total’s peers with healthier dividend yields include Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), BP (BP), and Eni (E). Shell, BP, and Eni have dividend yields of 5.9%, 5.6%, and 5.5%, respectively. However, ExxonMobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Equinor (EQNR), and Suncor Energy (SU) have relatively low dividend yields. ExxonMobil and Equinor have dividend yields of 4.3% and 4.1%, respectively, whereas Chevron’s and Suncor’s yields stand at 4.0% and 3.8%, respectively.