BP Reports Surprise Profit on Strength in Refining, Trading

BP Plc, the first oil major to report first-quarter earnings, posted a surprise profit as a stronger-than-expected refining and trading performance helped mitigate the lowest crude prices in more than a decade.

Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes totaled $532 million compared with $2.6 billion a year earlier, the London-based company said on Tuesday. Analysts had expected a loss of $244.9 million. BP was the second-biggest gainer in the FTSE 100 Index.

“The company is showing it is restructuring and reducing costs to adjust to oil prices and that’s pleasing,” Brendan Warn, a managing director at BMO Capital Markets in London, said by phone. “Higher-than-expected downstream earnings helped it beat estimates this quarter.”

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