Jul 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Oil giant Equinor beats earnings expectations despite coronavirus slump

Illustration of stacks of barrels of oil

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Oil's second-quarter financials are going to be a rough scene, but this morning brought a surprise when Equinor announced $350 million in adjusted earnings for the quarter.

Why it matters: The Norway-based multinational's profit was far below the $3.15 billion from the same period a year ago, but analysts had been expecting a loss, Reuters reports.

What they're saying: "Our financial results for the second quarter were impacted by very low realized oil and gas prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by a strong trading performance in volatile markets," CEO Eldar Sætre said in a statement.

Yes, but: The results "could prove to be an outlier in a quarter that’s set to be the most painful yet for the industry since the global pandemic destroyed demand earlier this year," Bloomberg reports.

What's next: Companies including Shell, BP, Exxon and Chevron will report second-quarter earnings over the next week and a half, and they will reflect the collapse in oil prices this year.

  • "Oil and gas majors are likely to report 'horrendous' second-quarter results over the next two weeks, energy analysts have told CNBC, with the three-month period through to the end of June widely expected to mark the 'low point' of 2020," CNBC reports.

Go deeper: Oil's coronavirus recovery is stuck in neutral

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