Rolls of coiled coated steel are shown at Stelco in Hamilton, Ont., June 29, 2018. Stelco Holdings Inc. says it saw a significant jump in earnings in the second quarter as it benefitted from higher steel prices and shipping volumes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Gas prices will depend on Delta variant’s effect on economy: analyst

Gas prices will depend on Delta variant’s effect on economy: analyst

Gas price analysts say prices at the pump are still at the whim of the Delta variant of COVID-19, and could rise and fall depending on how the virus spreads.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says the variant has caused concern around demand as it slows down the economic reopening, which has at times brought down the price of crude oil.

The price of crude oil was at US$68.63 per barrel as of Tuesday afternoon after prices as high as US$75 per barrel in July, but the amount Canadians pay at the pump has consistently risen in recent weeks.

McTeague says that’s because the value of the Canadian dollar also dropped when the price of crude dropped.

He believes there could be more dramatic increases when the wave of Delta cases subsides and demand for oil comes roaring back at a higher pace.

“There continues to be this reality that the world is playing catch-up when it comes to demand, and supply is just not adequately meeting demand,” said McTeague.

“It’ll obviously be a very real problem once we get past this particular COVID variant.”

The price of crude oil peaked this year in early July and sent gas prices in cities like Vancouver to highs of $1.74 per litre.

However, Craig Jerusalim, portfolio manager at CIBC Asset Management, said he believes a recent deal by OPEC plus to ratchet up production will prevent oil prices from reaching much higher levels like US$90 or US$100 per barrel.

OPEC plus is a loose coalition of oil-producing countries that includes OPEC’s official members, as well as Russia, Malaysia and Mexico, among others.

“Outside of COVID Delta variant scares, I think we are rangebound for that low 60s to high 70s range (per barrel) for the foreseeable future,” Jerusalim said, meaning current gasoline prices could hold for some time.

Jerusalim and McTeague said new fees and taxes that have been introduced by federal and provincial governments in recent years are also part of the reason why Canadian consumers are noticing some of the higher prices for gasoline.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

Stelco Holdings Inc. says it saw a significant jump in earnings in the second quarter as it benefitted from higher steel prices and shipping volumes.

The Hamilton-based company, which wholly owns Stelco Inc., says earnings for the second quarter came in at $363 million, or $4.09 per share, up from nil earnings in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted net income for the quarter ending June 30 was $380 million, or $4.28 per share, up from earnings of $10 million or 11 cents per share last year.

Revenue came in at $918 million, up from $411 million for the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average expected Stelco to report adjusted net income of $338 million, or $4.14 per share, and revenue of $906 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says its average selling price for steel was up 85 per cent compared with last year, and up 35 per cent from the first quarter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 10, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:STLC)

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Centerra Gold Inc. reported a loss of US$851.7 million in its latest quarter as a result of a move by the Kyrgyz Republic to seize control of the company’s Kumtor mine in the central Asian country in May.

The Toronto-based company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said Tuesday it recorded a US$926.4-million loss on the change of control of the Kumtor operations.

The loss for the quarter ended June 30 amounted to US$2.87 per diluted share compared with a profit of US$80.7 million or 27 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Centerra CEO Scott Perry said the Kyrgyz Republic government seized control of the Kumtor mine based on false and misleading allegations.

“While the company remains the rightful owner of Kumtor Gold Co., our 100 per cent owned subsidiary that holds the Kumtor mine, we cannot effectively exercise power over any relevant activities or affect the returns of the Kumtor Mine,” Perry said in a statement.

However, Perry said the situation did not affect Centerra’s other operations including the Mount Milligan mine in B.C. and the Öksüt mine in Turkey.

Centerra said its adjusted net profit from continuing operations, which excluded Kumtor, amounted to US$49.9 million or 17 cents per diluted share compared with a loss of US$22.3 million or eight cents per diluted share a year ago.

As a result of the seizure of the Kumtor mine, Centerra updated its production guidance.

The company says gold production this year is expected to between 270,000 and 310,000 ounces, while copper production is forecast to be between 70 million and 80 million pounds.

Gold production is expected to rise to between 380,000 and 430,000 ounces in 2022 and 2023, while copper production that year is expected to rise to between 90 million and 100 million pounds in 2022 before dropping back to between 70 million and 80 million pounds in 2023.

Gold production costs are expected to between US$625 and US$675 per ounce in 2021, before dropping to between US$550 and $600 per ounce in 2022 and edging back up to between US$575 and $625 per ounce 2023.

Centerra initiated binding arbitration in May against the Kyrgyz government in response to actions taken against its subsidiary Kumtor Gold Co. including fines, tax claims and legislation placing its operations under external management.

The Kyrgyz Republic has said it took control of the Kumtor mine because of what it said was the “abdication of its fundamental duties of care” by Centerra.

Centerra says its wholly owned subsidiaries that own and operate the Kumtor Mine have also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. in a move to protect its interests.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CG)

The Canadian Press

CALGARY — TransAlta Corp. raised its financial outlook for the year as it reported a loss of $12 million in its second quarter.

The power producer says the net loss for the quarter ended June 30 amounted to four cents per diluted share compared with a net loss of $60 million or 22 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $619 million, up from $437 million in the same quarter last year.

TransAlta says its comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization amounted to $302 million for the quarter compared with $217 million in the same period in 2020.

In its revised outlook, the company says its comparable EBITDA for its full year is now estimated to be between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion, up from an earlier forecast of between $960 million and $1.08 billion.

TransAlta also raised its estimate for free cash flow for the year to between $440 million and $515 million, up from an earlier estimate of between $340 million and $440 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TA)

The Canadian Press

LONGUEUIL, Que. — Héroux-Devtek Inc. reported a profit of $6.7 million in its latest quarter compared with a loss in the same quarter last year.

The maker of aircraft parts says the profit amounted to 19 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $1.3 million or four cents per share a year ago.

Revenue for what was the first quarter of the company’s financial year totalled $126.2 million, down from $128.3 million in the same quarter last year.

The company says, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations, defence sales rose 21.5 per cent, while civil sales fell 19.0 per cent.

On an adjusted basis, Héroux-Devtek says it earned 19 cents per share in the quarter, compared with an adjusted profit of nine cents per share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 15 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:HRX)

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Hydro One Ltd. reported a second-quarter profit of $238 million as its revenue edged higher.

The power utility says the profit for the quarter ended June 30 amounted to 40 cents per diluted share compared.

The result compared with a profit of $1.1 billion or $1.84 per diluted share a year ago when the company recorded a one-time gain of $867 million due to an Ontario court ruling on a deferred tax asset appeal that set aside an Ontario Energy Board decision.

Revenue in the quarter was $1.72 billion, up from $1.67 billion in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Hydro One says it earned 40 cents per diluted share for its latest quarter compared with an adjusted profit of 39 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 37 cents per share, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:H)

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The corporate logo for Centerra Gold is shown in this handout image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

A Heroux-Devtek Inc.logo is shown at the company's annual general meeting in Montreal, Thursday, August 2, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes