It is earnings season, that every-three-months ritual in which publicly traded companies reveal whether or not they made money while stock owners hold shaky fingers over mouse buttons, cursors resting on "sell."
If the company is an oil company, the question is not whether it was profitable but, rather, how excessively profitable the company was. Did Dinosaur Oil top its $18 bajillion quarter of last year as analysts expected? Traders hold shaky fingers over mouse buttons, hoping the enormous profits were enormous enough.
This morning, Shell stepped up to the plate. From the Financial Times:
Shell said its profits on a clean current cost of supplies basis, which strips out changes in the value of oil inventories, and excluding identified items, stood at $5.6bn compared with $4.8bn a year ago -- an increase of 15 per cent.
$5.6 billion in profit. That's $62 million a day over the last three months. It's $720 every second. Meaning that Shell would have earned:
Nice work if you can get it.