British Petroleum plc (LON: BP) said on Tuesday that its earnings came in better than expected in the first quarter on the back of improved oil and gas prices. The company also authorised £360.15 million of share repurchase for Q2.
BP shares jumped a little under 4% in premarket trading on Tuesday but lost most of its intraday gain on market open. Including the price action, the stock is now exchanging hands at 300 pence per share. In comparison, it had started the year at a lower 254 pence per share.
BP reports £3.36 billion of net profit
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British Petroleum reported £3.36 billion of net profit in the first quarter. In the comparable period of 2020, it had posted £3.14 billion of net loss. In the prior quarter (Q4), its net profit was capped at a significantly lower £980 million.
In separate news from the United Kingdom, office-space provider IWG plc said occupancy rates are likely to return to the pre-COVID-19 levels in mid-2022.
Underlying replacement cost profit, BP said, stood at £1.89 billion in the recent quarter, beating market consensus of £1.18 billion. As per the British multinational, the average per-barrel price of Brent oil was £43.94 in Q1 versus the year-ago figure of £36.01 and the quarter-ago figure of £31.69.
British Petroleum also expressed confidence on Tuesday that it minimised its net debt below £25.21 billion – a target it had set earlier. The oil major declared 3.78 pence per share of a dividend for Q1 on Tuesday that remained unchanged on a quarter over quarter basis. For Q1 of 2020, BP had declared a higher 7.56 pence per share of a dividend last year.
CEO Bernard Looney’s comments on Tuesday
Chief Executive Bernard Looney commented on the financial update on Tuesday and said:
“This quarter demonstrates what we mean by performing while transforming. With the acceleration of divestment proceeds, together with strong business performance and the recovery in the price environment, we generated strong cash flow and delivered on our net debt target around a year early.”
Commenting on the company’s energy transition strategy, Looney said:
“We’ve delivered disciplined strategic progress right across BP – including building a high-quality offshore wind business, making great strides in our electrification agenda and setting ourselves up for further growth in the Gulf of Mexico.”
At the time of writing, British Petroleum has a market capitalisation of £60.73 billion.