Suncor first-quarter results beat estimates

Suncor Energy Inc. delivered first-quarter earnings Monday that beat analyst expectations and reported a drop in oilsands production due to a month-long unplanned upgrader outage.

CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. delivered first-quarter earnings Monday that beat analyst expectations and reported a drop in oilsands production due to a month-long unplanned upgrader outage.

Canada’s largest energy company booked operating earnings, which are adjusted for one-time items, of $1.33 billion, or 85 cents per share — beating the average estimate of 81 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

During the same 2011 quarter, Canada’s largest energy company earned $1.48 billion, or 94 cents per share.

Oilsands production, excluding its share of the Syncrude oilsands mine, contributed an average of 305,700 barrels per day during the first three months of the year, compared to 322,100 barrels a year ago.

In March, Suncor took down one of its upgraders for unplanned repairs for about four weeks. The outage was not expected to affect its annual production targets.

Upgraders process heavy, impure oilsands crude into a type of oil refineries can more easily handle.

“The mid-March through mid-April unplanned shutdown of Upgrader 2 was a disappointing setback after so many consecutive quarters of steadily improved operational performance and record-setting production levels,” said chief operating officer Steve Williams, who will become CEO at Suncor’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

“Be assured that we will learn from this experience as we continue our journey towards operational excellence.”

Total upstream production averaged 562,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared to 601,300 barrels per day in the year-ago period.

First-quarter net earnings were $1.46 billion, or 93 cents per share, up from $1.03 billion, or 65 cents per share, during the same period of 2011.

Revenues were $9.76 billion, compared to $9.08 billion a year earlier.

Cash flow from operations was $2.43 billion, compared to $2.39 billion a year earlier.

Also Monday, Suncor raised its quarterly dividend by two cents to 13 cents.

After more than two decades at the helm of Suncor, CEO Rick George is set to hand the reins to Williams at Tuesday’s annual general meeting.

One of the biggest milestones of George’s tenure was the 2009 takeover of former Crown corporation Petro-Canada, which transformed Suncor into Canada’s largest energy company.

“While it’s hard to leave all my friends and colleagues, I do so with a tremendous amount of pride in what we have built together over the past two decades and a sense of excitement about the future of this great company,” said George.

“Steve and his leadership team know this company, and this industry, from the inside out, and I can’t think of a team better equipped to face both the challenges and tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. They also have the support of dedicated employees who continue to serve Suncor and its shareholders extremely well.”

Suncor is the largest operator in the oilsands, with huge mining operations north of Fort McMurray, a 12 per cent interest in the Syncrude Canada Ltd. mine, a 41 per cent stake in the yet-to-be-developed Fort Hills mine and steam-driven operations at Firebag and Mackay river.

In December 2010, Suncor inked a $1.75-billion deal with the Canadian division of France’s Total SA to work together in the oilsands.

It also has refineries in Edmonton, Montreal, Sarnia, Ont. and Commerce City, Colo., which cushioned the company against volatility in crude oil prices during the quarter.

“Lower prices experienced in our oilsands segment have been largely recovered through lower input costs in our refining and marketing segment,” said Williams.

Through the Petro-Canada transaction, Suncor inherited oil assets in Libya and Syria. As conflict broke out in Libya in February 2011, Suncor pulled its employees out of the North African country.

Its Libyan joint-venture partner, Harouge Oil Operations BV, has restarted production in all major fields in Libya, averaging 39,200 barrels per day during the first quarter, Suncor said.

In December, Suncor pulled its employees out of Syria in order to comply with sanctions aimed at isolating the regime of President Bashar Assad, condemned internationally for his government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests. No production was recorded in Syria during the quarter.

Suncor, which reported its results after markets closed, were at $32.63 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday, an increase of more than three per cent.

Just Posted

An incredible closing ceremony capped off the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (File photo by SUSAN JUDGE/2019 Canada Winter Games)
2019 Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund Society hands out $655,000

35 not-for-profit groups across Alberta to get money

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says COVID ICU patients have increased by more than 100 per cent in the past month. (Photo by The Government of Alberta)
Record number of people in ICU: says AHS president

The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team announced Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels acquire goaltender Connor Ungar, forward Liam Keeler in separate trades

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon… Continue reading

Alexander Michael Talbot, 29, was found guilty of operating a vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and vehicle theft in Red Deer provincial court recently. (Advocate file photo)
Man charged following police chases in central Alberta last summer is sentenced

Alexander Michael Talbot sentenced to 22 months in prison

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) falls on Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) watches the puck get past Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) on a shot by Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Monday, May 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Toronto Maple Leafs former players Darryl Sittler, centre, Johnny Bower, centre right, are joined by Ted Kennedy's son Mark for a ceremonial puck drop with Montreal Canadiens' Andrei Markov, left, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf, right, before NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Most Read