Oil giant Shell says it will spend $4 billion buying back shares, as it reports its highest ever annual profit
- Shell said Thursday it will complete a $4 billion buyback plan by May, as it reported financial earnings.
- It booked its biggest annual profit ever, as its natural gas business boomed thanks to sky-high prices.
Shell said Thursday it will spend $4 billion on share buybacks, after it posted its biggest annual profit ever thanks to a strong fourth-quarter performance by its natural-gas business.
The oil giant expects to finish repurchasing stock by its next quarterly earnings update, set for May 4, it said in a statement. It also moved forward with expected 15% dividend increase for investors.
Shell reported profit of $39.9 billion for 2022, more than double the $19.3 billion booked a year ago and slightly topping analyst expectations of $38.3 billion. This outstrips the $28.4 billion adjusted earnings for 2008 — the previous annual record, according to the company.
For the fourth quarter, it logged adjusted earnings of $9.8 billion, beating analyst expectations of $7.97 billion gathered by Bloomberg.
The oil major's stock price rose less than 1% in London, while its US-listed shares edged slightly lower at last check Thursday.
"It is a huge year for Shell, and a huge year to look back on as well," the company's CEO Wael Sawan told CNBC.
Natural gas price in Europe soared after Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February last year, going on to hit a series of record highs in August, before falling back to prewar levels in recent weeks. Sky-high energy costs fueled those gains, also seen in high profits at other oil and gas companies.
"Going forward, most investors still think that Shell is in good place as oil prices are unlikely to revisit the level of $50, as OPEC is committed to keep supply under a tight leash," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade, said Thursday.
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