Chesapeake Energy sorely disappointed investors with its decision to eliminate its dividend. The big question now is which company could be next to cut.
According to trader Andrew Keene of Keene on the Market, options prices imply that British energy giant BP will cut its dividend by 2016.
By some measures, BP's dividend yield of 6.2 percent does not appear a comfortable one. Analysts only expect the company to earn $2.41 per share in 2015, according to FactSet, a penny more than its annualized dividend yield.
On the other hand, BP is expected to generate cash flow per share of $7.40.
"BP's dividend is safe," declared Oppenheimer analyst Fadel Gheit, pointing to the company's cash flow and the cash on its balance sheet.
For BP's part, the company writes on its website that "BP directors decide the level of each dividend based on each quarter's results," and the company told CNBC it cannot specifically comment for this article because it is in a "quiet period" ahead of earnings.
Meanwhile, shares of Chesapeake Energy shares fell 10 percent Tuesday after the natural gas and oil company announced it was getting rid of its dividend. It was down slightly in premarket trading Wednesday.
"Due to the current commodity price environment for oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the resulting reduction in capital available to invest in its high-quality assets, Chesapeake Energy will eliminate its common dividend," the company said.
In other words, the costs of the oil and gas plunge finally made the company's dividend payouts untenable.
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