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BP Misses Q3 Earnings Forecast On Weak Natural Gas Trading

BP (NYSE: BP) reported on Tuesday lower-than-forecast earnings for the third quarter as weak gas marketing and trading and a charge in offshore wind weighed on the results and couldn’t offset a strong oil trading business.

BP said its underlying replacement cost profit – the metric closest to net profit – was $3.3 billion for the third quarter of this year, up from $2.6 billion for the previous quarter.

The earnings, however, were well below the analyst estimate for the third quarter of $4 billion.   

Following the results release, BP’s shares were down by around 4% in pre-market trading in New York.   

Compared to the second quarter 2023, BP posted higher earnings thanks to higher realized refining margins, lower level of refining turnaround activity, a very strong oil trading result, and higher oil and gas production. Those were partly offset by a weak gas marketing and trading result, the UK supermajor said.  

BP kept its dividend per ordinary share of 7.270 cents for the third quarter, as the company said that “A resilient dividend is bp’s first priority within its disciplined financial frame.”

The supermajor also said it plans a further $1.5 billion share buyback prior to reporting the fourth-quarter results early next year.

In the clean energy business, BP booked a pre-tax impairment charge of $540 million in the third quarter related to U.S. offshore wind projects. BP and Equinor’s filing to renegotiate the power purchase agreements associated with the Empire Wind 1 and 2 and Beacon Wind 1 wind farms off the coast of New York was rejected earlier this month.

“Equinor and BP are assessing the impact of the decision on these projects and future development plans,” BP said.

Commenting on the Q3 results of BP, Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said, “When BP reported in Q2 the numbers were clearly expected to come in short of expectations, and while the bar was low, they still somehow failed to clear it.”

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“Today’s Q3 numbers appear to have followed the same playbook with underlying replacement cost profit coming in at $3.3bn, falling well short of expectations of $4.05bn.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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