BP beats third quarter estimates and returns to profit

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A BP company logo is displayed on a fuel pump on the forecourt of a service station operated by BP Plc in London, UKChris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON – Energy giant BP on Tuesday reported a small profit for the third quarter, beating analysts’ expectations as the company benefited from rising oil prices and the lack of major write-offs for exploration.Third quarter underlying replacement cost profit, used as a measure of net profit, was $ 100 million. This compares to a loss of $ 6.7 billion in the second quarter and $ 2.3 billion in profits in the third quarter of 2019.

Refinitiv analysts expected BP to report a loss of $ 347 million in the third quarter.

It announced a dividend of 5.25 cents per share for the quarter.

BP said the recovery in oil and gas prices and demand helped the company return to profitability in the third quarter. This was partly offset, however, by a “significantly lower oil trade result”.

The findings come as energy market sentiment remains subdued, with an upsurge in global coronavirus cases hampering prospects for oil demand growth.

A wave of new Covid-19 infections has prompted some countries to impose new restrictions as winter approaches.

International benchmark Brent futures traded at $ 40.70 per barrel on Tuesday morning, up about 0.6% for the session, while US West Texas Intermediate futures traded at $ 38.78, up more than 0.5%.

Both contracts slipped more than 3% in the previous session.

“The priority is execution”

“After laying out our new strategy in detail, our top priority is execution and, despite a challenging environment, that’s exactly what we’re doing – performing while transforming ourselves,” said Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, in a communicated.

Looney said the company remained “firmly focused” on cost and capital discipline and “firmly committed” to its updated financial framework, including the dividend.

Along with its second quarter results in August, the energy company announced a pivot to a new strategy, saying the move would help it transition to clean energy, in line with its plan to become a net emission company. of carbon by 2050 or earlier.

BP had said that within 10 years it planned to increase its annual investment in low carbon tenfold to around $ 5 billion per year. It also aimed to develop around 50 gigawatts of net renewable energy generation capacity by 2030, a 20-fold increase from 2019.

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