Royal Dutch Shell on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings, lending further support to the energy major’s plans to reduce net debt and reward investors. The Anglo-Dutch company reported adjusted earnings of $5.5 billion for the three months through to the end of June. That compared with $638 million over the same period a year earlier and $3.2 billion for the first quarter of 2021. Analysts had expected second-quarter adjusted earnings to come in at $5.1 billion, according to Refinitiv.
Royal Dutch Shell boosted its dividend for the second consecutive quarter and announced the launch of a $2 billion share buyback program that it aims to complete by the end of the year.The dividend rose to 24 cents in the second quarter, up 38% from the year’s first three months. It comes a year after the company moved to cut its dividend to shareholders for the first time since World War II.
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said that they make sure that the current shareholder base approves of the company’s actions of payouts. He also said, ”We have to have a strong cash generative business that also funds the company for the future, but at the same time, we have to build a future-proof business”.
Share prices of the world’s largest oil and gas majors have not yet followed an improvement in the earnings outlook.However, the industry still faces a host of uncertainties and challenges. Shares of Shell were up over 4.5% during the early afternoon trade in London. The oil and gas company has seen its stock price rise more than 17% year-to-date, having collapsed almost 45% in 2020.