Royal Dutch Shell plc (LON: RDSA) said on Thursday that it concluded the fiscal fourth quarter with loss. The overall underlying performance, the company said, was weaker than expected.
Shell remained flat in premarket trading on Thursday and jumped more than 2% on market open. Including the price action, the stock is now exchanging hands at £13.45 per share after recovering from a low of £9.0 per share in the last week of October 2020.
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Shell reports £289.35 million of adjusted earnings
Shell booked £2.95 billion of net loss in the three months that concluded on 31st December. In the same quarter last year, it had reported a net profit of £710.49 million. In the prior quarter, the oil company had posted £360 million of profit.
For the full financial year, Shell recorded £15.96 billion of loss versus the year-ago figure of a lower £11.66 billion. In an announcement in December, Shell said that it will write-down up to £3.39 billion of oil and gas assets.
The British-Dutch multinational said that its adjusted earnings (current cost of supplies basis) in the recent quarter stood at £289.35 million versus a sharply higher £703 million in Q3. Analysts had called for £439.54 million of adjusted earnings for Shell in the fourth quarter.
The oil and gas firm’s board declared 12 pence per share of quarterly dividend on Thursday that translates to 48 pence per share of full-year payment. In fiscal 2019, Shell had approved £1.38 of full-year dividend.
Shell values its net debt at £55.51 billion
The Hague-based company also added on Wednesday that its net debt stood at £55.51 billion at the end of fiscal 2020. Shell wants to slash its net debt before distributing up to 30% of operating cash flow via share buybacks and dividends to shareholders, to £47.86 billion. According to Chief Executive Ben van Beurden:
“We are coming out of 2020 with a stronger balance sheet.”
In separate news from the United Kingdom, the telecommunications holding company, BT Group plc, said on Wednesday that its financial performance remained in line with expectations in the fiscal third quarter.
Shell performed largely downbeat in the stock market last year with an annual decline of more than 40%. At the time of writing, the British-Dutch multinational oil and gas company is valued at £103 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 6.74.