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Energy Summary for May 13, 2024

2024-05-13 19:25 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery added 86 cents to $79.12 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July added 57 cents to $83.36 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $14.10 to WTI, down from a discount of $12.20. Natural gas for June added 13 cents to $2.38. The TSX energy index lost a fraction of a point to close at 295.36.

Scott Bryka's Alberta-focused Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG) lost 17 cents to $11.76 on 4.43 million shares, as it began its new life operating as Veren Inc. Shareholders approved the name change at a special meeting on Friday. The company expects to launch a rebranded website and start trading under a new symbol, VRN, this Wednesday.

Cheerleaders (also known as analysts) wasted no time embracing the change. Desjardins analysts Chris MacCulloch, who already published a research note on Friday about Veren's "solid" first quarter financials (released earlier that day), scarcely let the ink dry before issuing a fresh note this morning. He reiterated the stock as a "top pick" and hiked his price target to $15 from $14. Besides the financials, which he praised again as "constructive," Mr. MacCulloch drew attention to Veren's "attractive" $600-million Saskatchewan asset sale to Saturn Oil & Gas Inc. (SOIL: $2.58), announced last week. He raised the possibility of further sales, perhaps involving the infrastructure assets acquired through last year's takeover of Hammerhead Energy. (These are worth an estimated $500-million.) Proceeds would go toward reducing Veren's net debt of $3.6-billion to its targeted "ultimate floor" of $1.7-billion, "which we view as a 2026 event," wrote Mr. MacCulloch.

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