Shell (NYSE: SHEL) accelerated the pace of its share repurchase program after posting earnings of $6.2 billion for the third quarter on the back of higher oil and gas prices and refining margins.
Shell reported on Thursday adjusted earnings of $6.224 billion for the third quarter, generally in line with expectations. The earnings figure compares to $5.073 billion for the second quarter of this year when the supermajors were hit by lower energy commodity prices.
The higher adjusted earnings and EBITDA for the third quarter compared to the second quarter reflected favorable trading and optimization results combined with higher realized liquids prices, offset by lower volumes.
Last month, Shell said it expects its third-quarter earnings to receive a boost from stronger trading results in its natural gas and chemicals and products divisions compared to the second quarter.
Apart from higher prices and trading, Shell’s earnings rose sequentially in Q3 thanks to higher refining margins in the July-September quarter, driven by “lower global product supply combined with higher demand,” the supermajor said.
Shell is boosting shareholder distributions with another $3.5 billion share buyback expected to be completed by early February 2024.
The supermajor’s total announced distributions for 2023 would now be around $23 billion, with dividend per share this quarter being 32% higher than in Q3 2022, Shell noted.
“Shell delivered another quarter of strong operational and financial performance, capturing opportunities in volatile commodity markets. We continue to simplify our portfolio while delivering more value with less emissions,” Shell’s CEO Wael Sawan said in a statement.
“Shell is commencing a $3.5 billion buyback programme for the next three months, bringing the buybacks for the second half of 2023 to $6.5 billion, well in excess of the $5 billion announced at Capital Markets Day in June.”
Shell is one of the last international oil and gas majors to report Q3 figures this earnings season, which was a mixed bag for the sector. Big Oil, however, is doubling down on its core business despite the annual drops in earnings compared to the record profits of 2022.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.