Royal Dutch Shell’s profit down 56% on slumping oil prices

Baku, February 4, AZERTAC 

Royal Dutch Shell became the latest big energy company to file a damage report on the impact of depressed oil prices, saying on Thursday that its adjusted profit fell 56 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to a year earlier, according to The New York Times.

But the company’s stock rose about 5 percent in Amsterdam trading, as Shell said it would maintain its dividend, paying out at least $1.88 a share for 2016.

Promising to continue to pay dividends, which some other big petroleum companies have also pledged to do, is one of the few ways to reward investors during the industry’s lean times — although some analysts question how long the payouts can be sustained if oil prices continue to languish.

Shell said earnings adjusted for inventory changes were $1.8 billion, down sharply from $4.2 billion in the comparable period of 2014.

For all of 2015, its earnings fell 80 percent to $3.84 billion, compared with $19 billion in 2014.

On a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, said that the pending acquisition of the British oil and gas producer BG Group, which is expected to be completed in a few weeks, would be an opportunity to further streamline Shell’s operations as it adapts to the changing energy industry.

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