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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost five cents to $59.56 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost seven cents to $65.37 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $22.75 to WTI, down from a discount of $22.64. Natural gas for February added three cents to $2.17. The TSX energy index added 1.29 points to close at 147.76.
Alberta Montney gas producer Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. (AAV) added 16 cents to $2.58 on 2.63 million shares, after vowing to make 2020 its year of rising revenue and liquids production. The company has set an official 2020 budget of $170-million to $200-million with an accompanying production target of 45,000 to 47,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day. By comparison, it previously (unofficially) indicated that it would spend $225-million and produce 46,000 to 48,000 barrels a day. The revised guidance suggests a roughly 18-per-cent drop in the budget but just a 1-per-cent drop in production -- a "reasonable trade-off," if one asks Scotia Capital analyst Cameron Bean. He called the guidance "mixed" but said he is looking forward to the ramp-up of Advantage's liquids-rich Wembley operations as a "key catalyst for [Advantage] to regain its late 2019 momentum." (The stock had risen from under $2 in late October to just about $3 in mid-December, but has since retreated to around $2.50.) Mr. Bean has a "sector outperform" rating and a price target of $6.
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