They weren't earnings that'd knock your socks off, but at least they were earnings -- better even than the analysts who follow the company had expected. And certainly better than a passel of companies from other industries that have checked in on the shy side of the breakeven line this quarter.
British oil and gas giant BP
Perhaps even more importantly, if you adjust for replacement cost profit -- which backs out the (significantly) changing value of inventories -- the number was near $2.4 billion. That was about 62% below last year's figure, but better than the consensus expectation of $2.23 billion.
BP has followed some other big companies, including ConocoPhillips
In my rarely tentative opinion, BP has come a long way in a short time. It's solved refinery problems in Texas and Indiana, repaired a leaking oil pipeline in Alaska, and adroitly changed out CEOs successfully. At the same time, its TNK-BP partnership in Russia has gone from apparent dissolution a year ago, to the point where, as the third-largest oil company in that country, it appears to have found a road to success.
We'll know somewhat more about trends among exploration and production companies when ExxonMobil
In the meantime, the oilfield services group appears to be succumbing to lower prices. Schlumberger
Advice for my Foolish friends: I'd keep a close eye on BP. As indicated, it's progressing nicely, and even if its 8% yield doesn't extend into perpetuity, the company looks quite compelling today.
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