BP Q4 beats forecast as oil spill trial looms
LONDON Feb 5 (Reuters) - Fourth quarter profits from shrinking British oil company BP Plc beat analysts expectations on Tuesday thanks in part to a record performance from its refining division as a trial in the U.S. over its 2010 U.S. Gulf oil spill looms later in February.
BP, the western world's No. 3 oil company and the last of the big four to report quarterly earnings, said fourth quarter net profit, adjusted for non-operating items and accounting effects, fell to $3.984 from $4.986 billion a year earlier, mainly as a result of tens of billions of dollars worth of asset sales to pay for its spill liabilities.
Analysts had expected a quarterly profit of $3.305 billion.
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