UPDATE 2-Repsol profit tops forecast on stable margins, cold weather
* Adjusted net profit 532 million euros, up 1.5 percent
* Production down 5 percent, refining margins stable
* Shares up 1.3 percent (Adds CFO and analyst comments)
By Tracy Rucinski
MADRID, May 8 (Reuters) - Spanish oil company Repsol beat forecasts with a 1.5 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Thursday thanks to stable refining margins and a surprise gain in its North American gas business due to the harsh winter weather there.
High gas volumes at its North American Canaport plant, which Repsol wrote down steeply last year, drove results at its gas and power division, helping a bottom line otherwise hurt by declines in production.
First-quarter recurring net profit adjusted for one time gains and inventory effects rose to 532 million euros ($741 million) from 524 million euros a year ago, comfortably beating an average forecast of 453 million euros in a Reuters poll.
"This is a first quarter phenomenon and will be tough to repeat in future years," UBS said of Canaport in a note to clients.
Shares in Repsol, which have climbed about 5 percent so far this year, were up 1.24 percent at 19.63 euros by 1300 GMT versus an 0.82 percent gain on Spain's blue chip index. Continuación...