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BLOOMBERG: Shell Resumes Buybacks, Says Total May Be Near $5 Bln (Update1): Wednesday 10 August 2005


Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's second- largest oil producer, said it resumed a stock buyback program and predicted purchases this year will be at the ``upper end'' of a company forecast of $3 billion to $5 billion.


Buybacks were halted on March 23 before shareholder votes on June 28 that approved the combination of Shell's Dutch and U.K. holding companies into Royal Dutch Shell Plc, whose shares began trading July 20. The company had already bought back $500 million of its shares earlier this year.


``Given strong cash generation for the first half of 2005, buy backs are expected to be at the upper end of the $3-$5 billion guidance for 2005,'' Shell said today in PR Newswire statement.


Shell said last month its second-quarter profit rose 22 percent from a year earlier to $5.17 billion, excluding changes in oil inventory values and a one-time charge, as surging oil prices more than offset a decline in production. Crude oil futures for September delivery reached a record $64.27 a barrel in New York yesterday.


Royal Dutch Shell also said today that it had acquired 98.7 percent of Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. shares, its former Dutch parent company, during a tender offer that ended at 3 p.m. Amsterdam time yesterday. It now has the legal right to forcibly buy any remaining shares of Royal Dutch Petroleum and will seek to de-list the stock from exchanges in Amsterdam and New York.


Shell, based in The Hague, repeated that when repurchasing its own shares it prefers to acquire `A' shares in the company, rather than `B' shares, ``considering the prevailing market price and relative tax treatment of A shares and B shares.''


Both types of shares trade in London and Amsterdam and also trade in New York as American depositary receipts, or ADRs.


Shell's `A' shares in London rose 0.3 percent to 1,844 pence at 8:57 a.m.


To contact the reporters on this story:

Stephen Voss in London at

Joost Akkermans in Amsterdam at


Last Updated: August 10, 2005 03:59 EDT


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