BP boosts buybacks after gas prices, trading lift Q3 profit

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) -BP reported on Tuesday a rise in third quarter profit, lifted by oil and gas prices and a strong trading performance, allowing it to expand its share buyback programme by more than a billion dollars.

Underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net earnings, reached $3.32 billion in the third quarter, BP said, exceeding analysts’ expectations for $3.06 billion.

That compares with $2.8 billion in profit in the second quarter and $86 million a year earlier, when energy demand and prices collapsed due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The company said it will repurchase a further $1.25 billion of its shares by early 2022, after buying $900 million during the third quarter. BP had vowed to use 60% of its surplus cash to boost shareholder returns.

“Rising commodity prices certainly helped, but I am most pleased that quarter by quarter, we’re doing what we said we would – delivering significant cash to strengthen our finances, grow distributions to shareholders and invest in our strategic transformation,” Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney said.

BP said it expected natural gas prices to remain strong in the coming months of peak winter demand. Natural gas and power prices around the world surged this autumn as tight gas supplies collided with strong demand in economies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Kenneth Maxwell)

The post BP boosts buybacks after gas prices, trading lift Q3 profit appeared first on Shore News Network.