Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) reported a 20% drop in second-quarter earnings, as challenges in Nigeria and impairment charges weighed on results. Shell reported profit that fell to $4.6 billion during the quarter, excluding items, from $5.7 billion a year ago. The results missed analysts' expectations for profit of $6 billion and was the company's largest miss since 2008. The company reported net profit of $1.74 billion, down from $4.08 billion in the same period last year, dragged down by a $2.2 billion impairment charge on its shale oil assets in North America. The oil company has also experienced losses in Nigeria due to theft and other attacks on its operations. CEO Peter Voser, who is set to retire next year, also attributed higher costs, exploration charges and adverse currency exchange rate effects to the lower-than-expected results. Voser will be replaced by Ben van Beurden, who currently is the head of the company's refining and chemicals marketing businesses.
Starbucks ( SBUX) is dropping AT&T ( T) as its Wi-Fi service provider and turning to Google ( GOOG), which has said it can offer speeds up to 10 times faster than AT&T. Google said it will provide wireless Internet in 7,000 U.S. Starbucks locations, beginning in new Starbucks stores over the next month. The service will then roll out to other locations across the country, beginning in the busiest locations where Wi-Fi is used the most. Google said it will team up with telecom company Level 3 Communications in the effort. According to a blog post by Kevin Lo, a Google general manager, Wi-Fi speeds could be up to 100 times faster than AT&T's service in cities where the high speed fiber optic network Google Fiber is available. Google and Starbucks also plan to create a new version of Starbucks Digital Network, which provides news content at the coffee chain's various locations. Financial terms of Starbucks' partnership with Google were not disclosed. Google's Wi-Fi service will continue to be free to Starbucks customers.
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