Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

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 brokerages have also weighed in on RDS.A. Vetr upgraded Royal Dutch Shell PLC from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $60.50 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 25th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Simmons reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC in a report on Thursday, August 11th. RBC Capital Markets cut Royal Dutch Shell PLC from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, Liberum Capital cut Royal Dutch Shell PLC from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.58.

Analyst Recommendations for Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A)

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 (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53 by $0.47. Royal Dutch Shell PLC had a negative net margin of 2.06% and a positive return on equity of 3.04%. The company had revenue of $58.42 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $60.82 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.61 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 19.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

The firm also recently declared 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 payout ratio is -201.26%.

About Royal Dutch Shell PLC

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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