Enbridge Reports Quarterly Loss on Hedging Contract Changes

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Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest pipeline company, reported a first-quarter loss on adjustments to contracts meant to guard against swings in currencies, oil prices and interest rates.

The net loss was C$383 million ($318 million), or 46 cents a share, compared with profit of C$390 million, or 47 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit missed by 3 cents the 59-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Results were impacted by quarterly adjustments to hedges designed to protect the company from shifts in currencies, interest rates and crude prices, Enbridge said. Growing volumes on its pipeline system and higher tolls in Canada are expected to boost earnings growth through the year.

“We are now seeing the benefit of our system optimization through record volumes on our mainline,” Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco said in the statement. “The full benefits of those efforts will be seen over the course of 2015.”

Enbridge shipped more crude from Alberta’s oil sands even as falling prices slowed the industry’s expansion and curtailed some projects. The pipeline operator plans to spend C$44 billion through 2018, including new natural gas lines and power plants, to capture more of the market.

The price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, averaged $48.57 in the quarter, down 51 percent from a year earlier. Crude closed at $60.40 a barrel in New York Tuesday, the first time it traded above $60 this year.

Canadian crude producers including Suncor Energy Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. reported declining profit -- or losses -- in the first quarter.

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