New BP chief executive Murray Auchincloss will have his first outing next week since being appointed to the role permanently, and hopes will be high that he can replicate a strong set of results from Shell.
The company’s shares ticked up on Tuesday after Shell beat expectations after making 7.2 billion dollars (£5.8 billion) in underlying earnings in the last three months of 2023.
But it remains to be seen whether BP can deliver a similar expectations beat on Tuesday when it reveals its performance for the period to shareholders.
Analysts expect that underlying replacement cost profit, the company’s preferred measure, will be 2.77 billion dollars (£2.19 billion)
A beat would be a boon for new boss Mr Auchincloss after he took over the role as BP’s chief executive last month.
He has been doing the job since September on an interim basis until the board could decide on a permanent replacement for Bernard Looney who left after past relationships with colleagues were brought to light.
Mr Auchincloss has been seen by many as the continuity candidate, he had been Mr Looney’s chief financial officer for most of the Irishman’s time in the top job.
Investors will now be looking to the Canadian to see whether they should expect more of the same from his time in charge, or whether changes are incoming.
Shortly after he took over, Mr Looney announced an ambition for BP to go “net zero” by the middle of this century.
Some investors have complained that this plan has depressed the share price of the FTSE 100-listed oil producer, and called for a change of tack.
“Analysts will then look to new chief executive Murray Auchincloss for an update on BP’s strategy, following the sudden departure of its architect, Mr Looney, poor share price performance relative to its oil major peers and also the arrival of an activist shareholder on its register,” said Russ Mould and Danni Hewson at AJ Bell.
“In contrast to the activist campaigns faced by Shell and ExxonMobil, which pressed the case that they were moving too slowly in their transition toward renewables and away from hydrocarbons, Bluebell Capital has asserted that BP has tried to make the shift too quickly, given the globe’s ongoing reliance upon oil and gas.”