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December 5, 2020
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BP beats third-quarter estimates and swings back to profit on improving oil demand

BP beats third-quarter estimates and swings back to profit on improving oil demand
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A BP company logo is displayed on a fuel pump on the forecourt of a gas station operated by BP Plc in London, U.K.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

LONDON — Energy giant BP on Tuesday reported a small profit in the third quarter, beating analyst expectations as the company benefited from stronger oil prices and the absence of significant exploration write-offs.

Third-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, used as a proxy for net profit, came in at $100 million. That compared with a loss of $6.7 billion in the second quarter, and $2.3 billion profit for the third quarter of 2019.

Analysts at Refinitiv had expected BP to report a third-quarter loss of $347 million.

“Having set out our new strategy in detail, our priority is execution and, despite a challenging environment, we are doing just that — performing while transforming,” Bernard Looney, chief executive officer of BP, said in a statement.

Looney said the company remained “firmly focused” on cost and capital discipline and “firmly committed” to its updated financial frame, including the dividend.

BP’s results come as energy market sentiment remains subdued, with an upsurge in global coronavirus cases hampering the prospects of oil demand growth.

A wave of new Covid-19 infections has prompted some countries to impose fresh restrictions as winter looms.

International benchmark Brent crude futures traded $40.86 a barrel on Tuesday morning, up around 1% for the session, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures stood at $38.94, up more than 0.9%.

Both contracts slipped over 3% in the previous session.

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