By Oliver Griffin


Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) on Thursday reported a 7.2% fall in first-quarter earnings, attributing the decline to lower oil prices and lower realized margins in its chemicals and refining businesses.

The British-Dutch oil giant said its profit for the three months ended March. 31 on a net current cost-of-supplies basis--a figure similar to the net income that U.S. oil companies report--fell to $5.29 billion, from $5.7 billion in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted net CCS earnings, which excludes certain items and is Shell's preferred metric, came in at $5.3 billion, down 2% on the first quarter of 2018 but beating guidance. A consensus estimate from 23 analysts compiled by Vara Research forecast adjusted net CCS earnings at $4.54 billion for the quarter.

Revenue in the three-month period fell 6.2% to $83.74 billion, Shell said. Cash flow from operations fell to $ 8.63 billion, from $9.47 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Production during the first quarter fell 2% to an average of 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent a day. While prices of liquefied natural gas and gas rose during the quarter, total gas production fell 12% following divestments made by the company, Shell said.

The company declared the fourth tranche of its buyback program. It said it will buy a further $2.75 billion worth of shares in the next tranche, up from $2.5 billion previously. The company launched its $25 billion buyback program last year.

Shell maintained its quarterly dividend at 47 cents a share.


Write to Oliver Griffin at; @OliGGriffin


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 02, 2019 02:39 ET (06:39 GMT)

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