Less than a quarter after capping its Deepwater Horizon well leak in the Gulf, BP plc (NYSE: BP) made a profit.
The UK company said a strong operating performance helped it return to profit in the third quarter of 2010 despite an additional pre-tax charge of $7.7 billion in respect of the Gulf of Mexico spill.
Headline replacement cost profit for the third quarter was $1.8 billion, compared with a loss of $17.0 billion in the previous quarter and a profit of $5.0 billion in the third quarter of 2009.
On an underlying basis, after adjusting for non-operating items, third-quarter replacement cost profit was $5.5 billion, an increase of 18 percent versus the year-ago quarter. The additional pre-tax charge of $7.7 billion for the Gulf of Mexico spill followed a charge of $32.2 billion in the second quarter and was due principally to higher spill response costs.
The numbers were slightly below analysts’ estimates.
Douglas A. McIntyre