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Suncor Second-Quarter Profit Doubles After Charge a Year Ago

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Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, said second-quarter profit more than doubled after earnings a year ago were crimped by a one-time charge on its Syrian operations.

Net income was C$680 million ($661 million), or 45 cents a share, from C$324 million, or 21 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said yesterday in a statement on Marketwired. Excluding one-time costs, per-share profit was 62 cents, less than the 63-cent average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Suncor Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams has been cutting costs by halting or delaying projects like the Voyageur upgrader and the Fort Hills oil-sands facility. At the same time, the company has wrestled with volatile commodity prices. Brent, the global benchmark at which Suncor prices most of its output, traded at an average of $103.35 a barrel in the second quarter, down 5 percent from a year earlier.

“Suncor remains the least expensive name in the Canadian integrated space,” Chris Feltin and Brian Bagnell, analysts for Macquarie Capital Markets, wrote in a July 11 note to clients. An integrated oil company explores for and produces oil in addition to refining it into fuels like gasoline and diesel.

The announcement was made after the close of regular trading on North American markets. Suncor fell 0.7 percent to C$32.46 in Toronto. The stock, which has declined 0.8 percent this year, has 21 buy and two hold recommendations from analysts.

Cancel Project

Suncor on March 27 abandoned plans with partner Total SA to build the C$11.6 billion Voyageur upgrader amid rising competition from U.S. oil production. Canceling the project, which converts tar-like bitumen into a light, synthetic oil, reduced net income by C$140 million in the first quarter. The company boosted its quarterly dividend and announced a C$2 billion share buyback on April 30.

Williams has been evaluating expansion plans since taking over from predecessor Rick George last year. The company is looking to reduce costs as it seeks to expand its oil-sands operations to boost output to 1 million barrels a day by 2020.

Suncor operates four refineries in North America in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Colorado that produce fuels, solvents and petrochemicals, according to the company’s website. The company also owns wind farms, a biofuel plant and offshore oil assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy van Loon in Calgary at jvanloon@bloomberg.net

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

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