Are you sure?

StatoilHydro Q3 below fcast, sticks to guidance

Norwegian oil and gas producer StatoilHydro posted a below forecast third-quarter operating profit and said it was on track to deliver on 2008 production targets and investment outlays despite a falling oil price.

Norway's biggest company said earnings before interest and tax grew to 47.0 billion Norwegian crowns ($7.04 billion) in July-September from a pro-forma 35.8 billion a year ago, lagging a 54.9 billion mean forecast from a Reuters poll of 17 analysts.

“Our operating performance and operating income are strong and we are well positioned industrially and financially in a time with great uncertainty in the financial markets,” Chief Executive Helge Lund said in a statement.

“We are capable of meeting our committed capital expenditures and a competitive dividend pay-out, even with lower oil prices,” Lund said. “In total we remain on track to deliver on our 2008 production guidance.”

StatoilHydro said affirmed its capital expenditure program of 65 billion Norwegian crowns for 2008.

It produced 1.55 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter below 1.60 million a year ago and analysts' average forecast also at 1.60 million. (Reuters)