French integrated energy giant Total SA (NYSE: TOT – $54.77) reported adjusted net profit rose in the fourth quarter to $3.16 billion from $2.87 billion a year earlier, largely as a result of increased production volumes and reduced costs. On a per share basis, the company said it earned $1.17 compared to $1.10 last year and in line with estimates. For the full-year, Total earned $$5.05 per share vs. $4.12 in 2017. Along with the earning’s announcement, Total said it has made a “significant” discovery in South Africa, where it said that the Brulpadda well has encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate.
The company proposed an annual dividend of $0.75 compared to the previous $0.736. Within the framework of its program to buy back $5 billion of shares over the 2018-20 period, the company expects to buy back $1.5 billion of its shares in 2019. The high-quality ADRs of Total have attractive upside potential over the next few years given its low market valuation and the increased payout will yield investors 5.5% at current levels.