Summary Box: Shell looks past weak earnings

AP News
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Posted: Feb 02, 2012 11:42 AM
Summary Box: Shell looks past weak earnings

MOVING ON: Royal Dutch Shell PLC's top executives dismissed weaker than expected fourth-quarter earnings and said the company would embark on a new program to boost production, emphasizing U.S. natural gas.

NEW TARGETS: CEO Peter Voser said the 4.3 percent drop in earnings to $6.50 billion was due to a sharp downturn in refining margins and natural gas prices. He released new financial targets, including boosting production by 25 percent by 2018.

PAYING DIVIDENDS: Shell also said it will increase its quarterly dividend a cent to 43 cents, its first rise in three years.