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Noble Energy's (NBL) Board Approves 9% Hike in Dividend

Zacks Equity Research

Noble Energy Inc. NBL announced that its board of directors has approved a 9% increase in the quarterly dividend rate. The revised quarterly dividend will be 12 cents, payable on May 20, 2019 to its shareholders of record at the close of business on May 6.

The new annualized dividend rate of the company is 48 cents per share, resulting in a dividend yield of 1.72%. This marks the second straight year that the Board of Directors has increased annual dividend rate, reflecting positive outcome of the initiatives undertaken by the company.

Can We Expect Hikes in Coming Years?

Noble Energy’s initiatives for development of onshore United States and investment of nearly 2/3rd of planned 2019 capital expenditure in the range of $2.4-$2.6 billion on domestic assets will continue to boost production and operation.

In addition, Noble Energy’s assets in Tamar Field and commencement of production from Leviathan by end of 2019 will allow the company to benefit from the growing demand of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Organic growth projects and strategic acquisitions will ensure multi-year volume and cash flow growth, which in a way will enable the company to continue with shareholder-friendly moves.

Initiatives to Enhance Shareholders’ Value

During 2018, the company returned more than $500 million to its shareholders, including $295 million through share repurchase and $208 million through quarterly dividend. During the year, the company utilized $295 million from its $750-million share repurchase authorization to buy back 10 million shares.

Price Movement

In the past six months, Noble Energy’s shares have gained 6.8% against its industry’s decline of 14.7%.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Noble Energy currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the same industry are CNX Resources Corporation CNX, Apache Corporation APA and W&T Offshore Inc. WTI.

W&T Offshore delivered average positive earnings surprise of 47.1% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has been upwardly revised by 2.8% in the past 30 days. W&T Offshore sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

CNX Resources delivered average positive earnings surprise of 109.27% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has moved 3.2% upward in the past 30 days. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Apache Corporation, a Zacks Rank #2 stock, delivered average positive earnings surprise of 34.11% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has been revised 16% upward in the past 30 days.

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