Oil super-major Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) (NYSE: RDS-B.US) is due to announce its annual results on Thursday this coming week (31 January).
The shares of this FTSE 100 behemoth are trading at 2,300p -- down 5% from a year ago compared with a 10% rise in the Footsie.
How will Shell's businesses have performed in 2012 compared with last year? And will the results justify the weak performance of the shares? Here's your cut-out-and-check results table!
|FY 2011||Forecast FY 2012||Forecast FY growth|
|Adjusted earnings per share (EPS)||$3.97||$4.19||+5.5%|
|Dividend per share||$1.68||$1.72||+2.4%|
Shell has seen quarter-on-quarter declines in revenue through the first nine months of 2012, but analysts are forecasting revenue to strengthen in the fourth quarter.
If analyst Q4 forecasts are on the button, revenue for the full year of $467bn will be modestly down on the 2011 number.
Shell has done adjusted EPS of $3.13 for the first nine months of 2012, which is 2% down on the same period last year.
However, analysts are expecting the 2% nine-month lag to be reversed for the full year. The consensus forecast for Q4 is $1.06 -- well ahead of 2011's weak Q4 ($0.77).
The upshot of this much stronger Q4 would be Shell finishing 2012 with EPS 5.5% ahead of 2011. The full-year EPS number to look out for is $4.19 with the comparative being $3.97.
Prior to 2012, Shell had paid out no less than 12 consecutive quarterly dividends of $0.42 per share. The dividend finally climbed above the three-year plateau in Q1 2012 when the company paid out $0.43. Further $0.43 dividends followed in Q2 and Q3.
Assuming the same distribution in Q4, the total dividend payout for the year would be $1.72 -- 2.4% ahead of the $1.68 paid out in 2011.
Unsure of Shell
Volatile energy prices continued through 2012, which -- together with swings in investor sentiment about the global economy in general -- made the market unsure of Shell and created short-term noise around the shares.
However, despite investor sentiment turning optimistic in recent months and Shell's share price having climbed a good bit, the shares are still down on the level they were trading at a year ago. That means, at the recent price of 2,300p, investors are paying less than nine times forecast 2012 earnings and getting a dividend yield of around 4.7%.
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