Shares in BP (LON:BP) have climbed into positive territory in London this morning even as the blue-chip oil major posted a fall in profits for the first three months of the year amid weaker crude prices during the reported period. The results, however, came in ahead of analyst forecasts.
As of 08:30 BST, BP’s share price had added 0.63 percent to 556.00p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.03 percent lower at 7,438.26 points.
BP’s profit falls in Q1
BP announced in a statement this morning that its underlying replacement cost profit for the first quarter of the year had dipped to $2.4 billion from $2.6 billion a year earlier. The company explained that the result reflected the weaker price and margin environment at the start of the quarter, partially offset by strong supply and trading results. Reuters meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that the number had nevertheless exceeded forecasts of $2.3 billion in a company-provided survey of analysts.
“BP’s performance this quarter demonstrates the strength of our strategy. With solid Upstream and Downstream delivery and strong trading results,” the company’s chief executive Bob Dudley commented in the statement, adding that moving through the year, the company would keep its “focus on disciplined growth, with efficient project execution and safe and reliable operations”.
The oil major’s chief financial officer Brian Gilvary meanwhile told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box Europe’ that the three-month period through to March had been particularly ‘tough’ because of adverse weather conditions, assets being put out of action and lower oil prices in January.
“I think oil prices look pretty firm given where we are today but we are going to continue to maintain capital discipline,” he pointed out.
According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 oil major currently has an average ‘buy’ rating, while the consensus target for BP’s share price stands at 651.47p.