Oil major Shell posts 50 percent rise in net profit, beating expectations

CNBC

  • Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said that “Shell’s three businesses all made resilient contributions to this strong set of results.”
  • The latest earnings come amid an improving environment for oil companies that have had to weather the storm posed by low oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell products in Torzhok, Russia.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Royal Dutch Shell products in Torzhok, Russia.

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported a near 50 percent rise in net profit for the third quarter.

Net profit attributable to shareholders on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis, used as a proxy for net profit, came in $4.1 billion, versus $2.7 billion in the same quarter a year ago. This compared to a company-provided analyst consensus of $3.6 billion. It also beat the Reuters estimate which was $3.569 billion.

Shell said the earnings reflected higher contributions from its downstream and upstream operations (which refer to both the refining division and exploration units) and its integrated gas unit.

Here are the key third-quarter metrics:

  • Cash flow from operating activities: $7.58 billion, down 11 percent from a year ago.
  • Net income attributable to shareholders (on a current cost of supplies basis and excluding exceptional items) $4.1 billion, versus $3.569 billion expected by Thomson Reuters.
  • Shell announced a $0.47 dividend per share.

Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said that “Shell’s three businesses all made resilient contributions to this strong set of results.”

He said the earnings were evidence of Shell’s “growing momentum” which, he said, strengthens his “firm belief” that the company’s strategy is working.

Shell is our top oil sector pick in Europe: Jefferies  

The latest earnings come amid an improving environment for oil companies that have had to weather the storm posed by low oil prices amid a glut in oil supply and lackluster demand over the last few years.

There are signs that oil markets are rebalancing, however, particularly as major oil exporters including OPEC and non-OPEC countries continue with an agreement to limit oil output.

The move has helped to stabilize oil prices, with Brent crude trading around $60 a barrel and west Texas Intermediate (WTI) around $54, and it has supported oil majors. Shell rival BP reported earnings above expectations earlier this week, doubling its third quarter underlying profit year-on-year.

Shell’s share price was flat on Thursday morning.

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