FTSE down as Shell underwhelms market

The FTSE 100 slipped 1.2% this morning as a number of its companies including Royal Dutch Shell released their latest performance numbers.

FTSE down as Shell underwhelms market

Global growth worries continued to act as a drag on sentiment, while some of the big companies reporting did little to help with their less-than stellar results.

BHP Billiton was another downward pull on the index as its shares fell 7% on news of a $43bn lawsuit brought against it by parties affected by a dam collapse in Brazil.  

Shell shares fell nearly 2% after the oil major reported earnings have continued to be hammered by low global oil prices, falling 58% to $1.55bn on the level recorded in the first quarter of 2015.

Profit was down accordingly to $800m from $4.8bn a year earlier.

In response to the situation Shell announced capital expenditure cuts would be ramped up a further 10% to $30bn.

Shell was understandable quick to remind markets that it has successfully bought and integrated BG Group, a move which is already yielding benefits.

“Shell's integrated activities differentiate us, with our downstream and integrated gas businesses delivering strong results and underpinning our financial performance despite continued low oil and gas prices,” said CEO Ben van Beurden.

“We continue to reduce our spending levels, to capture cost opportunities and manage the financial framework in today’s lower oil price environment,” he continued. “The combination with BG is off to a strong start, as a result of detailed forward planning before the completion of the transaction. This will likely result in accelerated delivery of the synergies from the acquisition, and at a lower cost than we originally set out.”

He added that the BG Group acquisition has created a “unique opportunity to reshape and simplify the company.”

Major shareholders in Shell among asset managers include BlackRock, Vanguard, Legal & General Investment Management and State Street, all largely through passive exposure.  

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Alex Sebastian

News editor

Alex joined Portfolio Adviser in April 2014 and has been a financial journalist since 2008. He has previously held editorial positions at the Financial Times Group and Euromoney Institutional Investor. Alex is NCTJ qualified and has a degree in economics from the University of Sussex.



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