Jul 31, 2018

BP posts $2.8B profits, up 4x from last year

The BP logo. Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

BP posted a $2.8 billion second-quarter profit Tuesday, beating analyst expectations with a tally that's roughly four times higher than the same period a year earlier.

Why it matters: It's a bright spot for BP during an earnings season in which some other super-majors — notably Exxon — have posted profits that fell short of forecasts despite strong oil prices.

  • BP said its oil-and-gas production was 3.6 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent, and the company has started projects in Azerbaijan, Russia and Egypt.

The big picture: "The numbers bear out BP’s ambitious plan to regain its position among the elite tier of big energy companies following its fatal blowout in the Gulf of Mexico eight years ago," per the Wall Street Journal.

  • Brian Gilvary, the company's chief financial officer, told analysts on a call Tuesday morning that the company has already paid 80% of this year's planned settlement payments related to the 2010 Gulf catastrophe.
  • More broadly, he said the company is in the "litigation tail" from the disaster, although payments will continue.

What's next: CEO Bob Dudley said that looking forward, the company is planning for oil prices in the $50–$65 per barrel range, which he also discussed in this CNBC interview.

  • "That's how we're going to plan the company, we're not going to get ahead of ourselves, we're going to keep the capital discipline," he told the network.

Electric vehicles strategy: Dudley also used the quarterly analysts' call to promote the company's recent moves in the electric vehicle charging space —  purchase of the EV charging network Chargemaster and investment in the battery tech company StoreDot.

  • Dudley called EVs "not a threat, but an opportunity for BP."
  • “We are well positioned to become both the leading fuel provider for both conventional and electric vehicles,” he said Tuesday.

Flashback: BP announced last week that it's making a major push in the U.S. shale patch with the $10.5 billion acquisition of BHP Billiton assets, notably oil-rich acreage in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins.

Go deeper: Reuters breaks down the numbers here.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

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Bloomberg denies telling a pregnant employee to "kill it"

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage Tuesday denied telling a former employee to terminate her pregnancy.

Catch up quick: Per the Washington Post, a former saleswoman has alleged workplace discrimination against Bloomberg and his company and says Bloomberg told her to "kill it" when he learned she was pregnant. Bloomberg denied the allegation under oath and entered a confidential settlement with the woman.