Woodside Petroleum revenue drops 6%

Woodside Petroleum  (ASX: WPL) reported Q2 earnings Thursday, managing to meet adjusted expectations after an unplanned shutdown at the corporation’s Pluto LNG plant.

On the production side, both the unplanned outage and planned maintenance pushed numbers down a seasonally adjusted 0.6% to 20.0 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). While production tapered off, unit sales managed to clock in 8.3% higher than Q2 2012. But unfortunately for Woodside, its 20.2 MMboe didn’t pay off like they did last year. A drop in average Brent price from $108.76 to $103.35 per barrel pushed revenue down a seasonally adjusted 6.0% to $1.35 billion.

Among other highlights, Woodside noted its April 2013 announcement that a proposed LNG plant “did not meet the company’s commercial requirements for a positive final investment decision,” hinting at potentially tougher (or at least more competitive) times ahead for LNG. Shell (NYSE: RDS.A), its joint venture partner in the development, will continue to explore options with Woodside.

Even with the LNG pullback, Woodside kept shareholders’ immediate interests in mind with a special US$0.63 dividend in Q2, and plans to distribute 80% of underlying net profit after tax in dividends for “several years.”

Woodside expects to pay dividends for the foreseeable future, but why settle for any dividend stock other than the absolute best? Discover The Motley Fool’s favourite income idea for 2013-2014 in our brand-new, FREE research report, including a full investment analysis! Simply click here for your FREE copy of “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2013-2014.”

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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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