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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery added $2.89 to $111.76 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added $2.89 to $117.98 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $18.25 to WTI, down from a discount of $17.55. Natural gas for July added five cents to $6.55. The TSX energy index added 9.63 points to close at 241.90.
Canadian oil stocks climbed with oil prices. Jim Riddell's Alberta-focused Paramount Resources Ltd. (POU), up $2.01 to $32.84 on 365,000 shares, also headed higher thanks to a share buyback program announced this morning. The company has received TSX approval to buy back up to 7.6 million of 141 million shares.
Whether Paramount makes use of the program remains to be seen. It previously received TSX approval a year ago to buy back 7.3 million shares, but has bought back just 197,500 shares since then, spending a total of $2.69-million. It does, however, pay about $14-million every month in dividends. (The 10-cent monthly dividend represents a yield of 3.7 per cent. The above Mr. Riddell, who is Paramount's chairman and chief executive officer and controls over 35 million of its shares, receives $3.58-million in dividend income from these shares every month.) The other priority for Paramount's free cash is debt repayment. It is aiming to get to $300-million in net debt by mid-2022 -- so, any day now -- compared with $854-million at the start of 2021.
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