BP plc (BP) topped market expectations on revenue and profits for the fourth quarter of 2018, sending the stock climbing over 3% in premarket hours on Tuesday.
The British oil company reported underlying replacement cost (RC) profit of $3.48 billion for the fourth quarter, an increase of 65% from the same period last year. Underlying RC profit per American Depositary Share grew 62% year-over-year to $1.04.
Total revenues and other income grew 8% to $76.8 billion compared to the same period last year.
During the quarter, the underlying RC profit before interest and tax in the Upstream segment improved 72% year-over-year to $3.8 billion, reflecting higher liquids and gas realizations, strong gas marketing and trading results and higher production including BHP assets acquired by BPX Energy. Underlying production grew by 3.4% due to major project ramp-ups.
In Downstream, underlying RC profit before interest and tax grew 50% year-over-year to $2.1 billion. In Rosneft, underlying RC profit before interest and tax improved 34% to $431 million from the prior-year period, helped by higher oil prices and favorable foreign exchange.
Organic capital expenditures dropped slightly to $4.4 billion from $4.6 billion in the same period last year. Inorganic capital expenditures totaled $8.5 billion, including $6.7 billion related to the BHP acquisition. Total divestments and other proceeds amounted to $3.5 billion compared to $4.3 billion last year.
In the Upstream division, BP expects underlying production for full-year 2019 to be higher than 2018 due to major projects. Reported production for the first quarter of 2019 is expected to be flat versus the fourth quarter of 2018, mainly due to asset divestments along with turnaround and maintenance activities, offset by major project start-ups and the benefit from the BHP assets.
In the Downstream segment, the company expects significantly lower industry refining margins and narrower North American heavy crude oil discounts for the first quarter of 2019.
BP announced a quarterly dividend of 10.25 cents per ordinary share ($0.615 per ADS), payable on March 29, 2019.
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