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BP First-Quarter Profit Falls -- Update

By Justin Scheck and Ian Walker LONDON-- BP PLC reported a fall in first-quarter profit as the energy giant continues to reshape itself in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. BP's production for the first quarter fell 8.5% to 2.13 million barrels of oil a day and the company warned that second-quarter production will be lower than the first quarter, mainly because of planned major maintenance particularly in the higher-margin North Sea and Gulf of Mexico regions. BP said underlying first-quarter replacement-cost profit, which strips out inventory gains or losses, fell to $3.23 billion, from $4.22 billion last year. Replacement-cost profit is similar to net profit, according to U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Revenue slipped to $91.71 billion, from $94.11 billion a year earlier. Net profit was $3.53 billion, from $16.86 billion a year earlier, which was boosted by a $12.5 billion gain the sale of its stake in TNK-BP. BP increased its first-quarter to 9.75 cents a share, from 9 cents a share last year. The company said its upstream division, which includes oil exploration, development and production, reported an underlying pretax replacement cost profit of $4.4 billion, down from $5.7 billion in the same period last year, hurt by asset sales and a $521 million charge related to its decision not to develop it Utica shale project in Ohio. BP's downstream division, which includes refining operations, also reported weaker profit, of $1 billion down from $1.6 billion, because of a weaker refining environment. Write to Justin Scheck at justin.scheck@wsj.com and Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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