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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added one cent to $53.27 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August was unchanged at $62.29 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.55 to WTI, down from a discount of $13.49. Natural gas for July added four cents to $2.40. The TSX energy index added 1.07 points to close at 139.38.
Li Ka-shing's Husky Energy Inc. (HSE) added nine cents to $12.55 on a heavier-than-usual 11.3 million shares. Much of the volume came from two large crosses at the open this morning. At 9:30 a.m. ET on the nose, Scotia Capital crossed 5.12 million shares at $12.50, and RBC Capital Markets crossed 3.99 million shares, also at $12.50. Husky has not released any news lately that might explain this activity. It last put news out two weeks ago, when it unveiled a new five-year plan that will see it spend less and produce less, but take in more free cash flow (as compared with the previous five-year plan). The plan drew little but yawns from investors. One analyst, Canaccord Genuity's Dennis Fong, thinks that Husky may try to woo investors later this year by hiking its dividend. In a recent research note, he predicted that if the company manages to sell its Prince George refinery and other non-core Canadian downstream operations, which were put up for sale in January, "... a portion of those proceeds will be used to fund up to a 10-per-cent increase to its dividend later this year." Husky currently pays 12.5-cent quarterly dividend, for a yield of 4 per cent.
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