Feb 1, 2018

Shell's profits surge as Big Oil earnings reports begin

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Royal Dutch Shell's profits, helped along by the rise in oil prices in recent months, more than doubled in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year before, showing a net adjusted profit of $4.3 billion compared with $1.8 billion the same quarter a year ago, CNBC reports.

Yes, but: The Wall Street Journal (among others) reports that the company's cash flow was less than expected.

U.S. policy: The company took a $2 billion charge related to the effects of the new U.S. tax law. But that aside, CEO Ben van Beurden says the cuts in corporate tax rate are helpful, given that the company is investing roughly $10 billion annually in the U.S. over the next several years.

  • “That investment of course is going to be doing well in a much more advantageous tax environment," he told Bloomberg TV.

Big picture: The CEO, in the Bloomberg interview, chatted about the company's positioning in a world where oil demand could peak within a couple of decades.

  • Shell will continue its recent moves into electricity as part of the effort to have a "future proof" portfolio, he said. Last year Shell bought the electric vehicle charging company NewMotion and the British power company First Utility.
  • “We think the power business is going to be the fastest growing part of the energy system and just need to be part of that as well,” he said.

More results: ConocoPhillips also reported a huge swing back to profitability this morning, per Reuters: "The company posted fourth-quarter net income of $1.58 billion, or $1.32 per share, compared to a net loss of $35 million, or 3 cents per share, in the year-ago period."

What's next: ExxonMobil and Chevron report tomorrow.

Go deeper

OPEC+ and G20 energy meetings mark zero hour for oil diplomacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The next two days will be pivotal for determining whether large oil-producing countries can partially stabilize an industry reeling from very low prices and the historic, coronavirus-fueled collapse in demand.

Driving the news: The OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia begin meeting remotely later Thursday morning to discuss production cuts, to be followed by a virtual Friday meeting among G20 energy ministers that includes the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 1,498,833 — Total deaths: 89,733 — Total recoveries: 337,074Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 a.m. ET: 432,438 — Total deaths: 14,808 — Total recoveries: 24,125Map.
  3. Business: Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis — Another 6.6 million jobless claims filed last week
  4. Public health latest: The federal government is in the process of deploying 90% of its stockpiled medical equipment to fight the pandemic.
  5. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe — Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  6. Poll: 1 in 10 Americans believe economy will never return to normal from coronavirus.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible in part by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resultant economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 24 mins ago - Economy & Business