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Royal Dutch Shell Plc a Basket Case Long After 2015?

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.59.38From an article by Royston Wild published Friday 9 Jan 2015 by The Motley Fool under the headline:

“Why Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BHP Billiton plc And Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc Will Remain Basket Cases Long After 2015” 

Royal Dutch Shell has seen its earnings forecasts painted with red ink; Shell is expected to see earnings drop a meaty 15% in 2015; …the effect of a depressed oil price is likely to put many producers out of business…; Shell could be forced to hive off even more of its assets…

Like the rest of the oil sector, Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) has seen its earnings forecasts painted with red ink by City analysts in recent weeks.

Shell is expected to see earnings drop a meaty 15% in 2015, to 295.3 US cents per share. But while a 10% improvement is anticipated for next year, to 325.5 cents, a slumping oil price suggests otherwise. The Brent benchmark’s nosedive took in a fresh multi-year trough below $50 per barrel this week, the lowest since mid-2009, and a figure of $20 before the year is out is being touted with increasing confidence.

While signs of stagnating global economic growth are not helping Shell’s earnings prospects, the main culprit behind the black gold price decline is the refusal of OPEC to slash output, as well as swathes of US shale production hitting the market.

In the long term, the effect of a depressed oil price is likely to put many producers out of business, in turn improving the market imbalance. But until such measures filter through to the market, Shell could be forced to hive off even more of its assets to de-risk and bolster the balance sheet, a situation which could further undermine the company’s earnings prospects in coming years.

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED: Market Collapse: 5 percent of Shell’s capital invested in money-losing projects?

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