By Jaime Llinares Taboada

 

BP PLC reported results for the fourth quarter and the whole of 2020 on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know:

 

UNDERLYING REPLACEMENT COST PROFIT: The FTSE 100 oil major posted an underlying replacement cost profit of $115 million for the fourth quarter, up from $86 million in the third quarter but down from $2.57 billion a year earlier. In addition, it came below the market consensus of $370 million, collected by the company from 26 brokers.

 

NET PROFIT: BP made a net profit of $1.36 billion in October-December, swinging from a $450 million loss in the third quarter and higher than a $19 million profit a year earlier. The result was mainly driven by a $2.3 billion gain on the sale of the petrochemicals business. It beat the market consensus of $181.2 million--taken from FactSet and based on seven analysts' estimates.

 

WHAT WE WATCHED:

-UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM: The underlying financial performance of both the upstream --excluding Rosneft-- and downstream divisions worsened in the fourth quarter of 2020, reflecting lower liquids and gas realizations, a drop in production, and significantly weaker gas marketing and trading income.

-DEBT REDUCTION PROGRESS: BP net debt as at Dec. 31 was $38.9 billion, down from $45.4 billion a year earlier. The company forecast that debt will increase in the first half of 2021 and then fall in the second half, and continues to expect to reach the $35 billion debt target in the fourth quarter of 2021 or first quarter of 2022.

 

Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at jaime.llinares@wsj.com; @JaimeLlinaresT

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 02, 2021 04:19 ET (09:19 GMT)

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