Shell’s Profits Exploded Last Year

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Royal Dutch Shell tripled its profits in one year, but its stock price still fell slightly Thursday morning as investors reacted to Shell’s cash flow problems, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Shell’s profits jumped from $3.5 billion in 2016 to $12.1 billion in 2017, and its fourth quarter earnings bounced from $1 billion to $3.1 billion. The company took a hit in its cash flow, though, as the numbers came in far below expectations. It’s cash flow from operations fell 21 percent in the course of the year.

After the company announced the numbers Thursday, Shell’s stock price dropped 2 percent. It recovered slightly Thursday morning, but held at a 1 percent drop.

The cash flow hit may not be troubling, however, as much of the falling off can be attributed to unanticipated tax payments made after the GOP tax package signed into law at the end of last year, Bloomberg reports.

Shell has been saddled with debt since it purchased the BG Group for $64 billion in 2016. It was able to pay of about $12 billion last year, by selling off some of the company’s assets from the purchase.

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