Figures from BP plc (LON: BP) are bolstered by the sale of the group's Russian assets.
The shares of BP (LSE: BP) (NYSE: BP.US) climbed 12p to 469p during early London trade this morning after the FTSE 100 member reported a first-quarter profit of $17bn.
BP said the performance was bolstered by the disposal of the group's TNK-BP operation, which was sold to Rosneft during the period and prompted an accounting gain of $12bn.
Adjusting for the TNK-BP sale and other items, BP said its underlying profit for January, February and March came to $4.2bn -- some $400m less than the underlying level achieved during the first quarter of 2012.
The oil group also claimed the TNK-BP disposal had helped net debt reduce from $31bn to $17.7bn during the twelve months to March 2013. Gearing was calculated to be 11.9%, and within the lower half of the firm's 10% to 20% target range.
Notably, BP said the gain following TNK-BP disposal would be exempt from UK corporation tax under the provisions of the substantial shareholdings exemption introduced for UK companies in 2002.
Today's first-quarter figures also confirmed a dividend of 9 US cents per share and $834m spent on share buybacks.
Bob Dudley, BP's chief executive, said:
"These strong first-quarter results demonstrate the progress BP is making in delivering the performance milestones that support our 10-point plan and underpin our commitment to material operating cash flow growth by 2014."
Annualising today's quarterly figures gives potential earnings of about 57p per share and a possible dividend of around 23p per share. Those projections equate to a P/E of 8 and yield of 4.9%.
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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.