Apr 27, 2021

BP profits put it on track to restart share buybacks

Forecast-beating first quarter results from BP have put the oil company on track to restart share buybacks. BP posted a $2.6bn underlying profit for the first three months of 2021, jumping from $791m the year before and well ahead of the consensus forecast of $1.6bn. Net debt fell $5.6bn to $33.3bn at the end of the period thanks to stronger oil prices and $4.8bn of disposal gains. The early achievement of getting net debt below a $35bn target level meant BP was able to pledge $500m for share buybacks in the current quarter. HSBC said its first quarter net profits climbed 79 per cent, as reserves for bad loans shrunk and an improving economic outlook more than a year into the pandemic helped offset the hit to revenues from low interest rates. Net sales at the Swiss pharmaceuticals company fell 2 per cent year-on-year on a constant currency basis to $12.4bn, just short of the average analyst estimate for $12.51bn. Thoma Bravo has agreed to take cyber security company Proofpoint private in a $12.3bn deal, as the technology-focused private equity firm continues its push for bigger acquisitions.

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