Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ), Canada’s third-largest energy company by market value, said first-quarter profit rose almost 10-fold as production increased and the oil-sands producer benefited from higher crude prices.
Net income climbed to C$427 million ($432 million), or 39 cents a share, from C$46 million, or 4 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement today. Excluding share-based compensation and changes in exchange rates, earnings missed by 16 cents the 43-cent average of 17 analysts’ estimates (CNQ:US) compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 20 percent to C$3.97 billion.
West Texas crude, the U.S. benchmark, traded at an average of $103.03 a barrel in New York during the first three months of the year, 8.9 percent more than a year earlier. Canadian Natural pumped 395,461 barrels of oil and natural-gas liquids a day in the period, an 11 percent gain from a year earlier.
The company operates the Horizon oil-sands project in Alberta and produces crude and gas from fields in North America, the North Sea and offshore West Africa. Heavy crude-oil production reached a quarterly record, increasing 24 percent from a year earlier to more than 120,000 barrels a day, according to the statement.
The shares were unchanged at C$32.94 after the close in Toronto. The stock has 19 buy and six hold recommendations by analysts.
Suncor Energy Inc. and Imperial Oil Ltd. are the first and second-largest Canadian energy companies by market value.
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