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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery lost $2.12 to $88.54 on the New York Merc, dropping below $90 for the first time since February on rising recession fears, while Brent for October lost $2.66 to $94.12 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.63 to WTI, up from a discount of $19.66. Natural gas for September lost 15 cents to $8.12. The TSX energy index lost 9.99 points to close at 213.68.
Oil sands giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) lost $1.49 to $65.41 on 7.42 million shares, as the slump in oil prices undercut its news of a lofty quarterly profit and a special dividend. The company released its second quarter financials this morning, trumpeting net earnings of $3.5-billion. Production of 1.21 million barrels a day and cash flow of $4.66 a share were above analysts' predictions of 1.20 million barrels a day and $4.42 a share, respectively. Canadian Natural patted itself on the back for its "substantial free cash flow generation" as it declared a $1.50-a-share dividend payable on Aug. 31. (It also pays a quarterly dividend of 75 cents, for a yield of 4.6 per cent.)
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