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BP Q1 Profit Slips

Courtesy of Benzinga

BP (NYSE: BP), Europe’s second-largest oil company, said its first-quarter profit fell 2% to $5.37 billion, missing the $5.7 billion analysts were expecting. That number excludes the various asset sales the British oil giant conducted to raise cash to pay for costs associated with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that BP’s first-quarter production may slip up to 12% due to the various divestures. While the asset sales have helped BP raise cash and restore its balance sheet to some degree, analysts and investors have worried that the lost production would crimp profits, which looks to have happened in the first quarter.

The drop in BP’s quarterly profit is even more worrisome given that oil prices have been surging recently and the company’s rivals are expected to post substantial increases in first-quarter profits on the back of those rising oil prices. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, is expected to post first-quarter profit growth of 59% while BP’s chief rival, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A), Europe’s largest oil company, is expected to see a 22% jump in first-quarter profits.

BP took a charge of $400 million in the first quarter related to the spill, bringing the company’s tally for spill costs to $40.9 billion. Total revenue and other income rose to $88.31 billion from $74.42 billion a year earlier.

BP said the dividend it will pay in June will be equal to 42 cents per American depositary receipt.


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