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Daily Telegraph: Added pressure for Shell as results go head to head with rival BP's


26 April 04


With the fall-out at Shell showing few signs of abating, the group's first-quarter results are expected to take a back seat on Thursday though there may be unfavourable comparisons with rival BP, which reports tomorrow.


Shell has downgraded its proven reserves three times in the past four months and there is speculation the US Department of Justice could be preparing to file charges. Shell has also had its credit rating downgraded.


It will now be the turn of production volumes, capital spending and earnings growth to come under scrutiny. Some analysts say that even a solid set of results will not be enough to restore confidence in the company's remaining management. They expect first-quarter adjusted net income to fall from $3.91billion (2.2billion) last year to about $3.6billion.


Even BP has not escaped untarnished; the company reduced its proven reserves by 2.4pc last month. Analysts expect adjusted net income in the region of $3.28billion in the first three months of the year compared with $3.73billion last year. Nevertheless analysts remain confident.

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