Royal Dutch Shell reported full-year record profits of $27.6 billion (£14 billion). This is a record for a European company, despite the lower oil and gas production and weaker refining margins.
For the year oil, and gas production fell to 3.315 million barrels a day of oil equivalent. This is down 4.5% compared with 2006. Fourth-quarter earnings on a current cost of supply basis were $6.7 billion (£3.35 billion) compared with $6 billion (£3 billion) a year ago, with fourth quarter production figures falling by 5.7% to 3.436 million boe/d in the same quarter last year.
Exploration and production segment earnings rose to $4.9 billion (£2.5 billion) from $3.5 billion (£1.75 billion) a year ago, reflecting the impact of higher oil and gas prices on revenues. Excluding a net gain to non-operating items of $963 million (£481.5 million), fourth-quarter current cost of supply net income was $5.74 billion (£2.87 billion).
Shell shares edged 0.5% higher to £17.52. (source: Financial Times)
Amazon, suffered a sharp slide in its share price yesterday despite surging sales. Profits during the fourth quarter of the year more than doubled, while revenues jumped 42% over the three month period.
In after-hours trading on Wall Street, shares in the group fell 3% even though Jeff Bezos, the chief executive, was more upbeat about the current quarter’s performance. Mr Bezos said that he “expected to produce sales of between $3.95 billion (£2 million) and $4.15 billion (£2.07 billion) for the current quarter, contributing to between $18.75 billion (£9.35 billion) and $19.75 billion (£9.87 billion) of revenues for 2008 as a whole.”
Revenues derived from Amazon’s largest business segment, which includes books, music and films, grew 33% to $3.33 billion (£1.66 billion) worldwide in the quarter. Sales of electronic goods and general merchandise such as wine glasses rose 58% to $2.21 billion (£1.1 billion).
Fourth-quarter gross margin came in at 20.6%, having fallen from 21.3% a year earlier and 23.4% in the third quarter. Net profits rose 112% to $207 million (£103.5 million) from $98 million (£49 million), a year ago. Sales rose 42%to $5.67 billion (£2.83 billion) in the quarter. (source: Timesonline)