bp made $5 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2023 while the company’s shares fell as it slowed a share buyback program, Reuters reported.
bp’s 2023-Q1’s financial results surpassed forecasts as business benefited from energy prices.
However, after bp announced it would repurchase $1.75 billion worth of shares over the next three months, down from $2.75 billion in the previous three, its shares had dropped about 4.5% by 0735 GMT, compared to a drop of about 1.2% for an index of European oil companies (.SXEP).
First-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s definition of net income, reached $4.96 billion, up from $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022 and above expectations of $4.3 billion in a company-provided survey of analysts.
The profit reflects “an exceptional gas marketing and trading result, a lower level of refinery turnaround activity and a very strong oil trading result”, BP said, noting the partial offset from lower oil and gas prices and refining margins.
The lower share buyback “will more than offset the good operational performance as bp is the first international oil company…to cut buybacks this quarter,” Jefferies analysts said in a note.
The $1.75 billion reported on Tuesday still implies that bp will surpass its target of utilising 60% of surplus cash for the purpose, despite repurchasing $11.7 billion of shares in 2022.
Following a 10% increase in February, its dividend per share stayed the same at 6.61 cents. After the pandemic, BP previously cut its payout in half.