(Reuters) – Equinor (EQNR.OL) posted on Wednesday a 57% year-on-year decline in second quarter core profit, in line with expectations as oil and gas prices fell, while maintaining its dividend and share buyback levels, sending its shares slightly lower.
The Norwegian energy group’s adjusted earnings before interest and tax for April-June fell to $7.54 billion from $17.6 billion a year earlier, broadly in line with the $7.64 billion predicted in a poll of 21 analysts compiled by Equinor.
It was down from $12.0 billion in the first quarter.
“We deliver solid results … at a time when energy prices are very different from last summer,” CEO Anders Opedal told a news conference.
Equinor maintained its plan to distribute $17 billion to shareholders this year in the form of $11 billion in dividend payments and $6 billion in share buybacks, he added.
Equinor’s Oslo-listed stocks were down 1.1% at 0917 GMT versus an Oslo benchmark index down (.OSEBX) 0.4%.
They have fallen 11% year to date as gas prices tumbled, underperforming a 0.4% drop in European petroleum company stocks (.SXEP).
“Equinor’s results clearly show that the days of windfall profits from high European prices are drawing to a close for the company,” said Elif Binici, an analyst at AlphaValue.
Equinor, Europe’s largest supplier of natural gas, is the continent’s first major energy group to report results for the second quarter.
Majority state-owned Equinor’s overall oil and gas production rose 1% year on year to 1.99 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) and the company maintained its full-year production growth target of 3% for the year, boosted by a bump in output from the Johan Sverdrup oilfield, Europe’s biggest producing entity.
The company reiterated its forecasts for capital expenditure of between $10 billion and $11 billion this year and about $13 billion each year from 2024 to 2026.