It's a great day to own BHP shares. But why?

Today is payday for BHP shareholders with billions being returned.

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Today is a good day to be a shareholder of BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP).

The first reason is that the BHP share price is outperforming the market today with a decent gain.

At the time of writing, the mining giant's shares are up 1.5% to $44.14. This compares favourably to a modest 0.1% gain by the ASX 200 index.

What else?

Another reason to be a happy BHP shareholder on Thursday is that today is payday for the Big Australian's final dividend for FY 2023.

Last month, the miner released its FY 2023 results and declared a fully franked 80 US cents per share final dividend. While this was down significantly on FY 2022's dividend, it is still the equivalent of a total return of US$4.1 billion (A$6.4 billion). And that's just its final dividend.

If you were on BHP's share register before it traded ex-dividend on 7 September, then you will be receiving a portion of this A$6.4 billion payout today.

The Big Australian is paying A$1.2506 per share in dividends in local currency, which represents a dividend yield of 2.7% based on where BHP shares were trading prior to going ex-dividend.

This means that if you had $10,000 invested in its shares, you would be receiving $270 today without lifting a finger.

Should you buy BHP shares?

The team at Morgans believes that BHP would be a top option for investors at the moment. It currently has an add rating and a $51 price target on the miner's shares. This implies a potential upside of almost 16%.

In addition, the broker is forecasting a $2.66 per share fully franked dividend in FY 2024. This equates to an attractive 6% yield at current prices.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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