Shell drops as profits slide

Royal Dutch Shell shares are off 4.7% after announcing that third-quarter profits are down 32%.

The oil giant reported profits of £2.6 billion for the three months leading up to September, which compares £3.86 billion for the same period last year. Higher exploration costs and lower refinery margins were blamed for the decline in profits. Security issues in Nigeria have also been an issue, as theft of oil and gas from the pipelines has reduced the output levels in the country.

On a more positive note, the company has a strong outlook for 2014 and beyond due to a number of new oil and gas fields opened in the past few months. Shell has restarted production at its Majnoon operation in Iraq in which it owns 45% stake.

BP reported its quarterly figures during the week; the company  revealed a drop in profit, caused by higher costs, but increase its dividend by 5.6%. This took the sting out of the fall in profits.

The share price of Shell has been in an upward trend for the past few weeks, and some traders could use today’s decline as an opportunity to buy on the dip.

Royal Dutch Shell chart

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