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BP share price trades higher ahead of fourth-quarter update

Shares in BP (LON:BP) have climbed higher in London this morning ahead of the oil major’s fourth-quarter results tomorrow. The update will come after FTSE 100 Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) beat forecasts last week.

As of 09:26 GMT, BP’s share price had added 0.96 percent to 526.50p, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.28 percent higher at 7,039.58 points. The group’s shares have added more than seven percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 5.5-percent drop in the Footsie.

BP to post Q4 results

BP is scheduled to update investors on its fourth-quarter performance tomorrow and IG reports that a company-compiled consensus of 20 brokers suggests that the oil major will post underlying replacement cost profit – its version of net income – of $2.63 billion for the last three months of the year, down almost 31 percent from the $3.8 billion reported in Q3. Profit, however, is still anticipated to be 25 percent higher compared to Q4 2017.

Proactive Investors meanwhile has quoted Deutsche Bank Lucas Herrmann as saying in a recent note that “sharp commodity declines combined with a challenging downstream means the strong earnings and cash momentum apparent for much of the past two years should end this quarter”.

The analyst, however, reckons that the results “should show good year-on-year progress with headline cash flow strongly supported by the material release of working capital, helpful for balance sheets”.

Analyst ratings update

Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed BP as a ‘top pick’ on Friday, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip oil major currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 645.83p on the shares.

As of 10:14 GMT, Monday, 04 February, BP plc share price is 526.50p.

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