Shell beats Q3 forecasts to take home $4.1 billion in earnings

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSA) has joined fellow oil major BP this week in announcing better than expected earnings during the third quarter of 2017, in a further sign of recovery in the sector.

The Anglo-Dutch company confirmed that its Q3 earnings jumped 47% to US$4.1 billion from $2.8 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2016. This figure comfortably topped analyst forecasts which predicted the group would make $3.6 billion.

However, Shell’s cash flow fell by 11% from a year earlier to $7.58 million, but the firm’s cash flow is still well ahead for the year to date.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said Shell’s growing momentum strengthened his belief that his growth strategy was working. The company has gradually shifted towards heavier gas production, at the expense of oil, in recent years.

Ever since the spectacular oil price crash of 2014, companies across the world have scrambled to adapt to the new conditions in the sector by making divestments and scaling back spending budgets.

But Shell’s latest results, coupled with the recent re-emergence of oil prices above $60 a barrel, have strengthened the notion of a market-wide recovery in the resources industry.

Shell also confirmed that the $3 billion sale of a package of UK North Sea assets to Chrysaor has been completed, which will deliver a significant boost to its Q4 balance sheet.