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BP Racks Up Record Losses, But Investors See Green

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BP showed investors some green on Tuesday, despite posting a record quarterly loss, halving its quarterly dividend and racking up even more debt.

The London-based energy giant said second-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, which it uses as a proxy for its net earnings results, came in at a loss of $6.7 billion vs. a net profit of $800 million in the first quarter of the year.

The company's reported loss for the quarter was $16.8 billion, which included a post-tax charge of $10.9 billion for non-operating items. That figure included $9.2 billion in impairment charges, largely due to BP’s revised forecast for oil and gas prices over the next 30 years, and $1.7 billion of exploration write-offs.

Investors shrugged off the bad news, however, amid BP's accelerated plans to cut costs and focus on being greener.

Indeed, while the results were a direct hit from the coronavirus pandemic, which pummeled demand for energy in the second quarter, BP's decision to unveil earlier than expected a plan to reduce its oil and gas output by 40% and boost investments in renewable energy over the next decade helped bolster the company's stock.

BP in mid-June said the 'enduring impact' of the coronavirus pandemic was likely to include an acceleration of the pace of transition toward lower carbon energy systems – something that it said it would be proactively dealing with by taking a non-cash impairment charge.

It also reduced its forecast for Brent crude to $55 a barrel over the next 30 years, down from its previous forecast of $70 a barrel.

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