Suncor Energy beats earnings estimates, weighs UK portfolio sale

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The Suncor Energy logo is seen at its headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

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May 9 (Reuters) – Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) beat analysts’ estimates for first-quarter profit and raised its dividend 12% to its highest on Monday, as Canada’s third-largest oil company said benefited from the surge in crude oil prices.

Global crude oil prices rose to levels not seen since 2008 in the reported quarter after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, deepening a global energy supply crisis.

The Calgary, Alberta-based company said it plans to sell its entire UK business based on interest received in exploration and production assets.

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Suncor’s UK assets are located offshore in the North Sea and include a 29.9% interest in the Buzzard field as well as a 40% interest in the Roseback project.

Suncor’s share price is lagging its peers. Last month, activist firm Elliott Investment Management, which owns a 3.4% stake in the company, called for major changes, including strategic reviews and new board members.

Canada’s third-largest oil and gas producer has been plagued by operational mishaps and a sharp dividend cut in 2020

Its total production fell to 766,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from 785,900 boepd a year earlier. Its refining throughput was 436,500 barrels per day, up slightly from a year ago.

The company on Monday reported net income of C$2.95 billion ($2.27 billion), or C$2.06 per share, for the three months ended March 31, from C$821 million ( $631.00 million), or 54 cents Canadian, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company posted adjusted operating profit of C$1.92, beating analysts’ expectations of C$1.51, according to Refinitiv data.

Suncor’s rivals – Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO), Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO), Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO) and Cenovus Energy Ltd (CVE.TO) – also posted higher profits.

($1 = 1.3011 Canadian dollars)

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Reporting by Ruhi Soni in Bengaluru and Nia Williams in Calgary; Additional reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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