BP profit drops after taking further charge on spill

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Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc said profit fell 66 percent after taking a further charge of $7.7 billion related to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

Third-quarter net income dropped to $1.8 billion, or 9.4 cents a share, from $5.3 billion, or 28.2 cents, in the year- earlier period, London-based BP said today in a statement. Excluding one-time items and inventory changes, profit beat analyst estimates.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley said BP is “well on track” for recovery with sales agreements in place for about $14 billion of assets, about half of the target needed to foot the bill for the Gulf of Mexico accident. A delay in completing the relief well required to seal the leak pushed the total charge BP booked up to $39.9 billion, and the company reiterated its plan to consider restoring the dividend early next year.

“The underlying results are good, but they’re hit by another charge,” said Peter Hitchens, an analyst at Panmure Gordon & Co. in London. “This starts to clear up some of the uncertainty. It’s going to take some time.”

Full Story: Business: Washington Post Business Page, Business News