Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch multinational oil firm, reported better-than-expected earnings for its third quarter on Tuesday, but gave a cautious outlook as it continues to struggle in an environment of low oil prices.
Shell's earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis attributable to shareholders (excluding identified items) reached $1.4 billion in the third quarter, after contracting $6.1 billion in the same period a year ago. CCS is a common accounting measure for commodity-reliant businesses and Shell noted that the increase was due to lower operating costs and increased production.
Its earnings (excluding identified items) came in at $2.8 billion, compared with $2.4 billion for the third quarter 2015. This was an increase of 18 percent and better than a consensus estimate of $1.7 billion from the company.
"Shell delivered better results this quarter, reflecting strong operational and cost performance. But lower oil prices continue to be a significant challenge across the business, and the outlook remains uncertain," Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer at Royal Dutch Shell, said in a statement.