Pricier oil has its benefits.
BP plc (BP - Get Report) posted a sharp rise in third quarter profits, thanks to a recovery in global oil prices, and said it would buyback shares in the fourth quarter even as it held its dividend in check.
BP said its replacement cost profits doubled to $1.865 billion in the three months ending in September over the same period last year, a figure that beat analysts' forecast of 1.58 billion. However, while the group said it would buyback stocks in the current quarter, it held its 10 cents per share.
"We are steadily building a track record of delivering on our plans and growing across our businesses. This quarter, three new Upstream projects and the highest Downstream earnings in five years, underpinned by reliable operations and disciplined spending, have generated healthy earnings and cash flow," said CEO Bob Dudley. "There is still room for further improvement and we will keep striving to increase sustainable free cash flow and distributions to shareholders."
The group said it will buyback shares this quarter in order to offset the paying of dividends in script, or new shares, which dilute value of shareholders over time. BP said the buybacks wouldn't fully compensate for this, however, but would factor in things like changes in the oil price environment and the group's overall financial position.
BP said it expects to see fourth quarter production levels to increase over the three months ending in September, "reflecting the continued ramp-up of major projects and recovery from seasonal turnaround and maintenance activities", although it expected to see a modest fall back in industry refining margins.
BP shares gained 3.4% in the opening minutes of trading to change hands at closed at 518 pence each in London Monday, the highest since Jan. 4,. pushing it into positive territory for the year.