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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery added five cents to $52.62 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost 36 cents to $61.14 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.50 to WTI, up from a discount of $11.20. Natural gas for February lost six cents to $2.98. The TSX energy index lost 1.83 points to close at 146.15.
Saskatchewan-focused Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG) lost 12 cents to $4.02 on 6.26 million shares, despite firming up its plan to buy back 38.4 million of its 550 million shares. The company had already announced its buyback intentions last week. That was overshadowed, however, by the simultaneous announcement that Crescent Point would reduce its budget to about $1.25-billion (down from around $1.6-billion) and slash its three-cent monthly dividend to a one-cent quarterly one. The new yield is 1 per cent. President and chief executive officer Craig Bryksa promised to "revisit potential dividend increases over time," but given the company's depressed share price (the $4.02 stock traded at a high of nearly $49 in mid-2014), he felt that a share buyback would be "a more accretive form of returning capital." He repeated almost the exact same phrase this morning as Crescent Point announced TSX approval for the proposed buyback. The buyback will run from Jan. 25, 2019, to Jan. 24, 2020.
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