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Financial Times: OBSERVER: Shell game

Financial Times: OBSERVER: Shell game

Apr 30, 2004

Shell’s new executives made investors twitchy this week.

Until late Wednesday afternoon the company’s first quarter earnings were to be discussed in a conference call by Tim Morrison, acting chief financial officer, alone.

The last time Shell chatted about its earnings was on January 9, when it said it was slashing 20 per cent of its reserves because they had been wrongly booked with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

By the evening, however, Shell had lined up Jeroen van der Veer, chairman, and Malcolm Brinded, head of exploration and production, as well. With its earnings as strong as they were, why were van der Veer and Brinded so shy?

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