Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has $57.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Royal Dutch Shell is one of the largest integrated energy firms in the world with a strong and diversified portfolio of development projects that offer attractive long-term opportunities. The company’s acquisition of BG Group, UK’s third largest energy player, has improved its prospects even further. Shell will be able to boost its oil and gas reserves by almost 25% and will benefit from BG Group’s big projects worldwide. We believe that the recently struck deal to sell some of its GoM assets is an important step in executing on Shell's plan to divest $6-$8 billion of properties this year and maintain its generous dividend policy. However, the difficult operating environment – in the form of continued weakness in commodity prices and depressed refining margins – continue to keep us on the sidelines. We think that the current valuation is fair and adequately reflects Shell's future growth prospects.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating on shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC in a research report on Sunday, July 10th. RBC Capital Markets lowered shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Canaccord Genuity lowered shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday. Citigroup Inc. reissued a neutral rating on shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Vetr raised shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $60.50 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 11th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Royal Dutch Shell PLC has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $58.58.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.06 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.47. Royal Dutch Shell PLC had a positive return on equity of 3.04% and a negative net margin of 2.06%. The firm had revenue of $58.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.82 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.61 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 19.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 19th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th were given a dividend of $0.799 per share. This represents a $3.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of Infinity. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 10th. Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s dividend payout ratio is presently -201.26%.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC Company Profile

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) is an independent oil and gas company. The Company explores for crude oil and natural gas across the world, both in conventional fields and from sources, such as tight rock, shale and coal formations. The Company is engaged in the principal aspects of the oil and gas industry in approximately 70 countries.

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