Own Woodside shares? Today is payday!

Woodside is set to reward passive income investors today.

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Today is a good day to own Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) shares.

Why?

Because the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) energy stock pays eligible investors its final dividend today.

Woodside shares traded ex-dividend on 7 March. Meaning passive income investors will receive the dividend payout for any shares held at market close on 6 March.

That will land in their selected bank accounts, as Woodside's dividend reinvestment plan remains suspended for now.

And while the dividend is down from last year, it's still well above average for an ASX 200 stock.

Woodside shares paying off today

Woodside reported its full-year 2023 financial results on 27 February.

As expected, the company's financials took a hit from lower oil and gas prices. Though ASX 200 investors took this in stride, sending Woodside shares up 0.9% on the day.

Woodside reported a 30% year on year decline in its average realised price to US$68.60 per barrel equivalent. That pain was partially offset by a 19% increase in annual sales volumes, which reached 201.5 million barrels.

All told this saw revenue drop by 17% from 2022. Though it still came in at an impressive US$13.99 billion.

With production costs also rising, the decline in revenue saw a 37% fall in underlying net profit after tax. Though this too was still a very impressive US$3.32 billion.

With these headwinds in mind, the final dividend was cut by some 57% from 2022 to 91.7 cents per share, fully franked.

Commenting on Woodside's performance at the time, chairman Richard Goyder noted, "We achieved strong financial performance in 2023. While oil and gas prices eased from 2022's record highs, robust product demand continued."

As for the dividend, Goyder added:

In 2023, we recorded an annual net profit after tax of $1.7 billion and an underlying net profit after tax of $3.3 billion. Based on this, the board has determined a fully franked final dividend of 60 US cents per share, resulting in a total full-year dividend of 140 US cents per share.

If you bought Woodside shares for the dividend on 6 March, you could have picked the stock up for $30.52 a share. Meaning the final dividend payout alone represents a 3% fully franked yield.

Atop Woodside's interim dividend of $1.243– paid on 28 September – the ASX 200 energy stock trades on a fully franked trailing yield of 7.2%.

Looking ahead

Looking at what could impact Woodside shares in the months ahead, the company maintained its guidance for 2024.

Woodside forecasts production of 185 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mmboe) to 195 Mmboe for FY 2024. Capital expenditure is expected to be in the range of US$5 billion to US$5.5 billion.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben 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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