Cenovus Energy Inc. doubled its dividend and announced a share buyback plan for up to 10 per cent of its shares while confirming it achieved record production at two of its oilsands projects in the third quarter.
The Calgary-based oil company reported a third-quarter profit if $551 million in the third quarter, or 27 cents per share compared with a loss of $194 million or 16 cents per share a year ago.
Revenue totalled $12.7 billion, up from nearly $3.7 in the same quarter last year.
The increase came as total upstream production rose to 804,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day compared with 471,799 a year ago, an increase of 70.6 per cent. Both Cenovus' Foster Creek and Christina Lake oilsands projects achieved record single-day and quarterly average production.
Cenovus, like other Canadian oil and gas companies, benefited in the third quarter from commodity prices that have rebounded to multi-year highs from last year's lows. Cenovus finished the third quarter with net debt of about $11 billion, a reduction of $1.4 billion since the end of the second quarter.
``All of this has led to Cenovus deleveraging faster than anyone could have imagined a year ago,'' said chief executive Alex Pourbaix, on a conference call with analysts Wednesday. “Today we are very close to achieving our interim net debt target of below $10 billion.''
The company announced it will pay a quarterly dividend of 3.5 cents per share, up from 1.75 cents per share.
“We’ve been clear that increasing our shareholder returns would be our first priority upon reaching our interim net debt target.''
Cenovus' downstream throughput was 554,100 barrels per day, up from 191,100 in the same quarter last year.
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