BP's profit surge 71% on higher oil prices and output
02 May, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Shawna Walton
The company said Tuesday its replacement cost profit - a number analogous to the net income that US oil companies report - was $2.4 billion in the first quarter, compared with $1.4 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Underlying profits were also up, with BP posting an underlying recurring cost profit of almost $2.6 billion, up from $1.5 billion a year earlier. This tops their initial prediction of $2.2 billion according to to a company-provided analytics survey.
Shares in the oil giant briefly hit their highest level since 2010 as the firm said underlying replacement cost profits jumped to a better-than-expected 2.6 billion U.S. dollars (£1.9 billion) for the first three months of 2018, up from 1.5 billion United States dollars (£1.1 billion) a year earlier.
"The spill payment in the first quarter was "$500 million more than I expected", although that probably means the burden will be lower later this year, said Redburn analyst Rob West, as quoted by Bloomberg.
Earnings after taxation, or bottom-line net profit, jumped to $2.5 billion (2.1 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March from a year earlier, BP said in a results statement.
"Our safe and reliable operations and strong financial delivery have continued into 2018", BP chief executive Bob Dudley said.
The bill included a final $1.2bn payment as part of a $20bn settlement with the US Department of Justice, but the giant still has a number of smaller legal bills to pay.
Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said the London-listed company might consider raising the dividend later this year if oil prices remain near current levels and debt declines.
It has so far cost the group more than 65 billion United States dollars (£48 billion), and although BP has all the major settlements now under its belt, it still has a few smaller legal bills to pay.
Brent crude averaged $66.82 in the first quarter, 24 percent higher than a year earlier.
Investors are scrutinizing cash flow as an indication of Big Oil's ability to pass on the rewards of higher prices through share buybacks. Gilvary also raised the prospect of increasing dividends. At the same time, Mr Dudley has also pledged to keep a tight rein on spending and costs.
That set BP shares on an upward trajectory because it comfortably beat market expectations of $2.2 billion. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
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