BP Stock at Boosted by Profit, Promise of Share Buybacks

Print Email

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) reported third-quarter 2017 results before markets opened Tuesday. The oil and gas supermajor posted adjusted diluted earnings per American depositary share (ADS) of $0.53 on revenues of $60.81 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported earnings per ADS of $0.51 on revenues of $48.04 billion. Analysts estimated earnings per ADS of $0.48 on revenues of $49.21 billion. One ADS is equal to six ordinary shares.

BP’s adjusted replacement cost profit (essentially the company’s adjusted net income/loss) in the third quarter totaled $1.87 billion, compared with $933 million in the year-ago quarter. Unadjusted the replacement cost profit totaled $1.38 billion, or $0.42 per ADS, compared with a profit of $1.66 billion and a net profit per ADS of $0.53 in the third quarter of 2016.

The company also said it would restart its share buyback program in the fourth quarter in an attempt to “offset the ongoing dilutive effect of scrip dividends over time.” BP said it does not expect the program necessarily to match the dilution.

CEO Bob Dudley said:

We are steadily building a track record of delivering on our plans and growing across our businesses. This quarter, three new Upstream projects and the highest Downstream earnings in five years, underpinned by reliable operations and disciplined spending, have generated healthy earnings and cash flow. There is still room for further improvement and we will keep striving to increase sustainable free cash flow and distributions to shareholders.

Daily average hydrocarbons production totaled 2.43 million barrels of oil equivalent, up by 10% year over year. Sequentially, production was flat.

BP’s price realizations for liquids rose from $46.277 a barrel in the second quarter of 2017 to $47.45. In the year-ago quarter, the price realization was $40.99 a barrel. Natural gas averaged $2.89 per thousand cubic feet in the third quarter, down from $3.19 in the 2017 second quarter and up from $2.77 in the third quarter of 2016.

Downstream (refining) adjusted pretax profits jumped from $1.43 billion a year ago to $2.34 billion. The company attributed the improvement to higher refining and fuels marketing results along with an improved contribution from supply and trading. In its outlook statement, BP said fourth-quarter results would continue to reflect solid refining margins, but normal seasonal turnaround and variation would weigh on results. BP’s refining marker margin was $16.30 a barrel in the third quarter, up from $13.80 in the second quarter and %11.60 a year-ago.

To date BP has paid out $63.42 billion in pretax charges related to the disaster that claimed the lives of 11 workers and dumped millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. In the third quarter the company paid out $84 million in claims and took a charge of $122 million related to financing costs. BP now expects total payouts of $5.5 billion for the year, up from a range of $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion from its estimate at the end of the prior quarter.

BP’s organic capital spending totaled $4 billion in the third quarter and totals $11.9 billion for the first nine months of the year. Divestment proceeds in the second quarter totaled $1 billion for the first three-quarters of 2017.

The company also announced its regular quarterly dividend of $0.60 per ADS, a dividend yield of 6.14% at Monday night’s closing price.

BP’s ADSs closed up about 1.3% on Monday, at $39.62 in a 52-week range of $32.53 to $39.75. The high was posted Monday. BP traded up about 2.5% in Tuesday’s premarket session at $40.60. The 12-month consensus price target was $39.50 before Tuesday’s report.