bp surprises analysts

Third quarter results turn better numbers than expected.

BP Plc has reported profit decline less than analysts estimated in the third quarter and said its two largest U.S. refineries are increasing production, according to Bloomberg.com.

According to the report, profits excluding one-time items and changes in inventories dropped 6.4%, outgrowing analysts’ estimates for a second consecutive quarter. The company also reported that net income fell 29% to $4.41 billion from $6.23 billion.

BP revealed plans to bring refineries in Texas City, Texas, and Whiting, Ind., to full capacity in the first half of 2008. CEO Tony Hayward’s plans for revitalized growth continues, with pumping beginning at new fields in Angola and in the Gulf of Mexico.

“It is a poor set of results but not as bad as expected,” Jason Kenney, an Edinburgh-based analyst at ING Wholesale Banking who has a “buy” rating on BP shares, said in an interview with Bloomberg. Hayward needs a “couple of good quarters” to convince investors he can turn the company’s fortunes around, Kenney said.

BP has recently been cutting jobs and breaking up a division as part of a restructuring plan.

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