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Are Asset Sales the Answer for Royal Dutch Shell plc?

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41Extracts from a Motley Fool article by Arjun Sreekumar published 23 June 2014

On Monday, Shell announced the sale of a 19% stake in Woodside Petroleum, a deal that is expected to raise $5 billion. On Wednesday, the company announced that it had filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to the proposed IPO of its pipeline subsidiary, which could raise up to $750 million. Due largely to ill-timed investments in U.S. shale, continued security issues at its Nigerian operations, and its beleaguered drilling program in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Shell’s return on capital employed, or ROCE, averaged under 15% from 2008 to 2012. Sales of under performing downstream and upstream North American assets are providing much-needed cash and should help the company gradually improve its return on capital. Overall, the combination of asset sales, reduced spending, and higher cash flow should allow Shell to grow its dividend at a stronger pace over the next few years, assuming commodity prices remain high and assuming that the oil giant can bring new projects online on time and on budget.

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