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Daily Telegraph: The week ahead

Last Updated: 1:19am BST 22/10/2007

A guide to company results and meetings, and economic statistics

Tuesday October 23

• BP is expected to report a more than 30pc fall in third- quarter earnings due to a decline in production and weak gas prices. Analysts forecast BP, which kicks off the quarterly earnings season for the European oil sector, to publish a clean net profit, which strips out non-operating items, of between $3.64bn and $4.22bn. But analysts believe this quarter will mark a low point in BP’s operational and financial performance, with 2008 seen as a period of solid recovery following the reforms being introduced by Tony Hayward, the new chief executive.

Thursday October 25

Royal Dutch Shell is expected to unveil weak earnings, hurt by falling production, falling US gas prices and refining margins, and increased costs. Consensus estimates for the three months to September showed core earnings, on an adjusted current cost of supply basis, of $5.64bn, down 18pc from $6.9bn last time, which included $77m in one-off charges. Output is likely to have fallen by around 4pc mainly following hurricane-related disruptions and the natural decline in the group’s various fields, which offset the partial return of production in Nigeria. Shell warned in July that production for the year will likely end up at the low-end of its guidance of 3.3-3.5m barrels of oil equivalent per day.

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