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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery lost $2.25 to $92.09 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October added $1.45 to $98.15 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.66 to WTI, up from a discount of $19.67. Natural gas for September lost 10 cents to $8.77. The TSX energy index added 1.97 points to close at 233.31.
Earnings season in the oil patch is drawing to a close, but investors still had plenty of numbers to sift through today. Vermilion Energy Inc. (VET) lost 96 cents to $32.52 on 3.39 million shares, despite trying to impress investors with its second quarter financials and a dividend hike. It trumpeted a net profit of $368-million and boosted its quarterly dividend to eight cents from six cents, for a yield of 1.0 per cent. Production of 84,900 barrels a day and cash flow of $2.68 a share were both in line with analysts' predictions.
Investors frowned. A 33-per-cent dividend hike might typically spark more cheering, but in Vermilion's case, the 1-per-cent yield pales next to several of the companies that it considers to be its main competitors (or "peers," as its website prefers to call them). These include Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP: $9.26), Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG: $9.80), Peyto Exploration & Development Corp. (PEY: $13.19) and Paramount Resources Ltd. (POU: $28.84), whose average yield is four times higher (Crescent Point has the lowest at 3.3 per cent and Whitecap the highest at 4.8 per cent).
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