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Shell and Conoco Don’t Deserve This Treatment

You oil investors are one tough crowd. I mean, what do you want, really?

On Thursday morning in Europe, Royal Dutch Shell Plc finally came around and gave the masses what they had been shouting for: a $25 billion buyback program. The masses promptly dumped the stock. On Thursday morning in America, ConocoPhillips announced a slew of forecast-beating results, having recently boosted its own buyback program by $1 billion. But it also said it was raising its full-year investment budget by $500 million. Pearls were duly clutched and “sell” buttons pushed (the stock had moved into slightly positive territory as of writing this).

In Shell’s case, there were other things that took the shine off the announcement, such as a strangely slow start to the buybacks and a sizable miss on second-quarter earnings. Even so, people: $25 billion. Plus, Shell just clocked up its eighth quarter of positive free cash flow (like you wanted). FULL ARTICLE

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