Shell posts profit and boosts dividend
Royal Dutch Shell reported a nearly $1 billion third-quarter profit Thursday, beating analysts' forecasts, and announced a slight increase in dividends.
Driving the news: Its stock is up 3% in premarket trading this morning but remains at roughly 25-year lows as the sector faces headwinds from COVID-19's effect on prices and demand.
- The profit is higher than last quarter but still 80% below Shell's haul in the July-September period in 2019.
- Shell increased dividends by 4% this quarter and vowed unspecified annual increases ahead, which follows the 66% cut six months ago.
Where it stands: Shell's announcement warns of "significant uncertainty in the macroeconomic conditions with an expected negative impact on demand for oil, gas and related products."
More broadly, the industry's market position has waned in recent years amid questions about future demand, pressure over climate change and other forces.
The big picture: Shell, like its peer BP, is cutting costs and jobs as it navigates COVID-19 and moves deeper into low-carbon sectors, though fossil fuels remain its dominant business.
- Shell said decisions about its portfolio — like focusing its oil-and-gas production on nine "core" regions — will bring enough money to grow its low-carbon business while boosting shareholder payouts.
- February will bring a "comprehensive" update on its repositioning and plans to be a "net zero" company by 2050, Shell said.
What's next: Exxon and Chevron report their earnings Friday.