Muted gross refining margins and declining gas production from the Krishna-Godavari basin might hit the earnings of Reliance Industries in the third quarter.
RIL will declare its results on Friday.
Analysts say the company's petrochemical segment and higher other income would boost its revenues. On an average, brokerages expect RIL's net profit to rise 12-17 per cent compared with the year-ago period.
RIL shares on Thursday hit a 52-week high.
The stock closed at Rs 889.65 on the BSE, up 3.4 per cent, after hitting a high of Rs 893.1.
It outperformed the BSE oil and gas index, which closed 2.8 per cent higher.
"We expect Reliance to report a net profit of Rs 5,043 crore for the third quarter of FY13, down six per cent quarter-on-quarter.
"While the petrochemical segment should perform better sequentially, lower refining margins and weaker gas volumes are likely to offset this. Earnings should remain muted over the next 18 months, before rebounding in 2015," Somshankar Sinha and Pooja Gupta of Barclays said in a note.
In a report, Nomura said the company's exploration and production segment would see earnings before interest and tax fall seven per cent year-on-year to Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) because of poor
RIL, which recently shut a third of its wells due to high water and sand ingress, saw production from its KG-D6 gas field drop to 22 million standard cubic metres a day.
According to the directorate general of hydrocarbons, in the week ended December 30, RIL produced 22 million standard cubic metres of gas a day from the Dhirubhai-1 and 3 gas fields and the MA oil and gas field in the KG-D6 block.
While Barclays said RIL was expected to record GRMs of $8.75 a barrel, Prabhudas Lilladher expects RIL's refining margins to stand at $9.5 a barrel, outperforming the Singapore benchmark.
"Though RIL is expected to post GRMs of $8.5 a barrel, it may surprise the market by posting better-than-expected margins, as was the case with Essar Oil, which recorded GRMs of $9.5 a barrel in the third quarter," said Angel Broking.
Analysts said the petrochemical segment might spring a surprise, owing to good volumes and higher base price effect.