BP’s Hayward coy on dividend cut

HOUSTON (BestGrowthStock) – BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward would not say on Thursday whether the company would cut its dividend as the cost to cap a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico rises and it tries to mitigate the oil’s impact on sensitive Gulf shorelines.

“We will meet our obligations to stakeholders,” Hayward said at a brief appearance before reporters at the London-based oil giant’s U.S. headquarters in Houston.

Pressure for BP (BP.L: ) to cut its dividend and divert cash to the spill mitigation and cleanup has increased in recent days as efforts to contain the six-week-old leak have so far failed.

Evolution Securities said in a note to investors on Thursday that although its data shows that BP can afford to pay the dividend, and should, “We believe it will be suspended for the remainder of the financial year 2010.” [nLDE6521DX]

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden said on Wednesday that BP should suspend any plans to pay out dividends until the full costs for cleaning up the spill are calculated.

“We find it unfathomable that BP would pay out a dividend to shareholders before the total cost of BP’s oil spill clean-up is estimated,” the senators wrote in a letter to Hayward.

Earlier on Thursday, BP announced that Hayward and Ferbus MacLeod, the company’s head of investor relations, would host an investor briefing on Friday at 8 a.m. CDT (1300 GMT).

Stock Market Money

(Reporting by Kristen Hays, editing by Philip Barbara)

BP’s Hayward coy on dividend cut