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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery lost 57 cents to $23.99 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July lost $1.25 to $29.72 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $4.86 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for June plunged 19 cents to $1.94. The TSX energy index lost 2.12 points to close at 72.02.
The day brought further announcements of multibillion-dollar quarterly losses within the oil patch, as well as a few other aches and pains that were more surprising. The biggest came from oil sands giant Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), which lost 78 cents to $22.50 on 20.8 million share, after disclosing a loss of $3.52-billion for the first quarter. Like many energy companies this reporting season, Suncor saw its bottom line buried under writedowns, impairments and foreign exchange losses, which in Suncor's case exceeded $2.81-billion. That was not the surprising part of the announcement. Unexpectedly, Suncor is more than halving its quarterly dividend to 21 cents from 46.5 cents, abruptly ending an 18-year streak of consecutive annual dividend increases. The new implied yield is 3.7 per cent.
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