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Shell share price rallies as oil major’s profits beat forecasts

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) have jumped in London this morning as the Anglo-Dutch group’s profits beat forecasts. The company further delivered a rise in cash flow for the fourth quarter of last year.

As of 08:23 GMT, Shell’s share price had added 3.32 percent to 2,351.50p. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.74 percent higher at 6,993.31 points.

Shell updates on performance

Shell announced in a statement today that its current cost of supply (CCS) earnings attributable to shareholders excluding identified items had climbed 36 percent to $21.4 billion last year, as the company benefitted from higher realised oil, gas and LNG prices as well as stronger contributions from crude oil and LNG trading. Reuters notes that the number had surpassed the $20.98 billion in a company-provided forecast.

For the last three months of the year, the oil major’s CCS earnings rose 32 percent $5.7 billion. Cash flow from operating activities for the quarter was $22 billion.

“Shell delivered a very strong financial performance in 2018, with cash flow from operations of $49.6 billion, excluding working capital movements,” the company’s chief executive Ben van Beurden commented in the statement.

‘Strong delivery focus in 2019’

Van Beurden added that Shell would “continue with a strong delivery focus in 2019, with a disciplined approach to capital investment and growing both our cash flow and returns”.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major separately announced the third tranche of its share buyback programme, with a maximum consideration of $2.5 billion for the period to April 29. The company aims to buy back at least $25 billion of its shares by the end of next year, subject to further progress with debt reduction and oil price conditions.

FTSE 100 peer BP (LON:BP) is scheduled to update investors on its fourth-quarter performance on Tuesday, February 5.

As of 09:13 GMT, Thursday, 31 January, Royal Dutch Shell Plc 'A' share price is 2,351.50p.

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