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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added two cents to $55.50 on the New York Merc, while Brent for April added 45 cents to $65.21 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.85 to WTI, down from a discount of $12.80. Natural gas for March added two cents to $2.86. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 157.34.
Li Ka-shing's Husky Energy Inc. (HSE) lost $1.20 to $14.77 on 6.88 million shares, after releasing financial results for what chief executive officer Rob Peabody dubbed a "challenging" fourth quarter. Quarterly production came to 304,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, slightly under analysts' predictions of about 310,000 barrels a day. Cash flow of 58 cents a share was well below analysts' predictions of about $1.03 a share. Husky also spent far more money than analysts had expected, dropping $1.26-billion during the quarter, compared with analysts' forecasts of about $900-million. Some of Husky's problems had to do with the shutdown of its 20,000-barrel-a-day White Rose project offshore Newfoundland because of an oil spill last November. Husky received approval to resume operations at the project last month, but is still working on getting back to full capacity. Investigations into the cause of the spill are in progress. Mr. Peabody described the White Rose shutdown as "particularly disappointing," but tried to take the edge off by talking up Husky's record quarterly production at its Liwan gas project offshore China and its Sunrise, Tucker and Rush Lake 2 projects in Western Canada. Investors remained vexed.
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