New Delhi: Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, (ONGC) India’s biggest energy explorer, doubled profit in the fourth quarter, beating estimates, after crude oil prices gained.
Net income rose to Rs56.4 billion ($1 billion), or Rs6.6 a share, in the three months ended 31 March from Rs27.9 billion, or Rs3.26, a year earlier, the New Delhi-based, state-run company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The median of 35 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was a profit of Rs44.2 billion.
Higher profit will help the explorer spend a planned Rs1.25 trillion to increase output in the five years to April 2017 and acquire $1 billion of shale assets in the US to meet energy demand. The government has ordered ONGC to sell oil at a discount to state-run refiners, including Indian Oil Corp., to partly compensate them for selling fuels below cost.
The shares closed 0.98% up at Rs256.35 on BSE on Tuesday. The stock is little changed this year compared with a 6.4% increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index. The company gave a discount of $77.32 a barrel on crude sales to state-run refiners, compared with $70.15 a barrel a year earlier. ONGC sold crude at $44.32 a barrel in the quarter, compared with $38.75 a barrel a year earlier, according to the statement. Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world’s oil, averaged $118.45 a barrel in the quarter, 12% higher than a year earlier. The July contract was at $106.94 a barrel, down 17 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 12:42 pm London time.