Brazilian national oil company Petrobras posted a nearly 36% drop in its second-quarter profits on Thursday, citing falling crude prices, although earnings surpassed analyst expectations.
Latin America's top oil producer posted recurring net profit of 28.8 billion reais ($5.85 billion), or 2.21 reais per share, while analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected 2.18 reais per share. Petrobras blamed the smaller quarterly profit on lower international oil prices, in addition to a 40% decline in diesel crack spreads - the price difference between the key industrial motor fuel and crude oil - as well as higher operating expenses. Petrobras also said it will pay shareholders 1.149304 reais per share, totaling 14.9 billion reais ($3.03 billion) in dividends for the quarter.
It is the first payout under a new trimmed-down shareholder remuneration policy approved last week.
The company will pay a first installment to shareholders on Nov. 21, with the second one to be paid on Dec. 15. Petrobras had previously warned of a possible dip in quarterly sales volume and posted slightly lower crude output for the April-to-May period.
It reported overall revenue down by a third from a year earlier, to 113.8 billion reais. Last week, the company reported a 0.6% drop in quarterly crude production, citing maintenance stoppages as well as asset sales and the natural decline of mature fields.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the period shrank 42% to reach 56.7 billion reais.
($1 = 4.9180 reais)
(Reuters - Reporting by Peter Frontini; Editing by Isabel Woodford and Leslie Adler)