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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added 28 cents to $57.22 on the New York Merc, while Brent for April lost 36 cents to $66.03 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $11.90 to WTI, up from a discount of $11.95. Natural gas for April added one cent to $2.81. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 157.55.
EnCana Corp. (ECA) added 61 cents to $9.66 on 30.5 million shares, after releasing a flurry of updates about its 2018 financials, its 2019 guidance, and its planned dividend boost and share buyback program. Investors have been eagerly awaiting these updates since EnCana closed its $5.5-billion (U.S.) takeover of Oklahoma shale producer Newfield Exploration two weeks ago. When the takeover was announced last fall, EnCana promised that upon closing, it would raise its 1.5-U.S.-cent quarterly dividend by 25 per cent and expand its share buyback program to $1.5-billion (U.S.). It has now kept those promises, hiking the quarterly payout to 1.875 U.S. cents, for a yield of 1 per cent. The buyback program will start Monday and allow EnCana to repurchase 149 million shares, or 10 per cent of the public float.
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