Encana Reports Third-Quarter Profit as Liquids Volumes Increase

Encana Corp. (ECA), Canada’s largest natural-gas producer, returned to a third-quarter profit after raising output of oil and petroleum liquids amid higher prices.

Net income was $188 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.24 billion, or $1.69, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement on Marketwired. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit was 20 cents, exceeding the 16-cent average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Encana is focusing 80 percent of its spending this year on almost doubling oil and liquids production following a slump in North American gas prices since 2008. Results a year ago included a $1.19 billion reduction because of the price decline.

Oil and natural-gas liquids output averaged about 58,200 barrels a day in the third quarter, a 92 percent increase from a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in the statement.

Gas production averaged about 2.7 billion cubic feet a day. Encana revised its forecast for 2013 output to 2.7 billion to 2.8 billion cubic feet a day, reflecting asset sales and delays to the ramp-up of the Deep Panuke project off Nova Scotia.

Doug Suttles, who became chief executive officer in June, said at an investor conference last month the company needs to “clean up its portfolio” and will review its dividend as part of a strategic review. The company has maintained a 20-cent quarterly payout since 2009.

North American gas prices, which sank to a 10-year low in April 2012, rose during the quarter to average $3.555 per million British thermal units in New York, 23 percent more than a year earlier. Oil prices in the U.S. climbed 15 percent from a year earlier to average $105.81 a barrel.

Encana released results before the start of regular trading on North American markets. The company advanced 2.3 percent to C$18.79 in Toronto yesterday. The shares, which have dropped 4.4 percent this year, have six buy, 15 hold and five sell recommendations from analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Penty in Calgary at rpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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