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Shell profit rises on higher oil, gas prices

By Published: Jan 31

Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDSB on Thursday reported a rise in profit for the fourth quarter of 2018, saying it had benefited from high prices in oil, gas and liquid natural gas.

The British-Dutch oil giant said its profit for the three months ended Dec. 31 on a net current cost-of-supplies basis–a number similar to the net income that U.S. oil companies report–was $7.33 billion compared with $3.08 billion in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted CCS earnings–Shell’s preferred metric–came to $5.81 billion in the fourth quarter, beating a consensus estimate from Vara Research that forecast $5.28 billion in adjusted CCS earnings.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the fourth quarter rose to $5.59 billion from $3.81 billion in the year-earlier period.

Total revenue for the fourth quarter rose 19% to $104.6 billion, Shell said.

The company provided an update on its share buyback program. Last year Shell kicked off a much-awaited $25 billion share-buyback program by saying it would start with an initial $2 billion, which it completed on Oct. 19. Shell said Thursday that it will buy back a further $2.5 billion of shares in the third tranche.

Cash flow from operations for the quarter rose to $22.02 billion, from $7.28 billion in the year-earlier period the company said, while production stayed relatively flat at 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, Shell forecast declining production in its integrated gas and upstream divisions, citing the effect of divestments. Oil products sales volumes are expected to fall in the first quarter of 2019 compared with the year-earlier period due to the company’s divestment in Argentina.

The company maintained its quarterly dividend at 47 cents a share.


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