BP share price: Analysts flag strong profits at oil major

Group supported by rise in crude prices

BP share price: Analysts flag strong profits at oil major

BP (LON:BP) is expected to post a rise in quarterly profits when it updates investors on its performance tomorrow. The oil major’s results will come after the company announced last week that it had appointed former Statoil and BG Group’s chief executive Helge Lund as its new chairman. Lund will replace Carl-Henric Svanberg in September.

BP’s share price has been subdued in early trading in London this morning, having inched 0.20 percent lower to 536.30p as of 08:01 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed marginally into positive territory and currently standing 0.07 percent higher at 7,507.56 points. The group’s shares have added more than 21 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a four-percent rise in the Footsie.

BP results preview

BP is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance tomorrow and The Sunday Times reports that a poll of City analysts suggests that the FTSE 100 oil giant earned an underlying profit of $2.2bn (£1.6bn) between January and March. The result compares with a surplus of $1.5 billion in the same period last year.

The company is expected to have found support in a rise in crude prices, with Brent having advanced by a quarter over the past year, averaging $66 in the first quarter. 

Ratings update

Kepler Capital Markets reiterated its ‘hold’ rating on BP on Friday, valuing the shares at 530p. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley, which sees the oil major as an ‘equal weight,’ lowered its price target on the stock from 550p to 505p. According to MarketBeat, BP currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 550.26p.

As of 08:06 BST, Monday, 30 April, BP plc share price is 534.50p.

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