Equinor Q4 Operating Profit Beats Forecast, Trims Payout
02.07.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

February 07, 2024 [Reuters]- Equinor (EQNR.OL), opens new tab on Wednesday posted a slightly higher-than-expected operating profit for the final three months of 2023, but said it would cut its overall payments to shareholders in 2024 to $14 billion from $17 billion in 2023.

 

The Norwegian energy group’s adjusted earnings before tax for October-December fell to $8.68 billion from $17.0 billion a year earlier, beating the $8.46 billion predicted in a poll of 26 analysts compiled by Equinor.

“We expect to grow our cash flow and sustain competitive returns. We are extending the outlook for stable contribution from oil and gas to 2035,” Chief Executive Anders Opedal said in a statement.

Equinor said its production would be unchanged year-on-year in 2024 but would rise by 5% by 2026 before declining somewhat towards 2030 to around 2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from about 2.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

In addition, the group’s domestic Norwegian unit set a target of pumping 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2035, down from 1.37 million in 2023.

The company raised its ordinary quarterly dividend payment to $0.35 per share from $0.30 but said its extraordinary cash dividend would be cut to $0.35 per quarter from $0.60.

Equinor also said it plans to spend $6 billion on share buybacks in 2024, equal to 2023. In 2025 it plans buybacks of between $4 billion and $6 billion.

The company plans to increase the regular part of its quarterly dividend payments by $0.02 each year going forward.

Rival BP (BP.L), opens new tab on Tuesday also posted forecast-beating earnings for the fourth quarter, as have Exxon Mobil(XOM.N), opens new tab, Chevron(CVX.N), opens new tab and Shell(SHEL.L), opens new tab, supported by a mix of strong trading results and higher oil and gas production.

Equinor in 2022 overtook Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM), opens new tab as Europe’s biggest supplier of natural gas as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine upended decades-long energy ties.

The Norwegian group’s full-year adjusted earnings totalled $36.2 billion, down from a record $76.9 billion in 2022 as the price of gas sharply declined.

Equinor’s share price has risen 4.8% in the last 12 months, slightly ahead of a 3.7% rise in the European oil and gas sector (.SXEP)

 

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