Suncor Quarterly Profit Rises on Refining, Debt Revalue

Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, said third-quarter profit rose 21 percent as the company benefited from rising refining income and the revaluation of U.S. dollar-denominated debt.

Net income rose to C$1.56 billion ($1.56 billion), or C$1.01 a share, from C$1.29 billion, or 82 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement yesterday. Per-share profit beat the 70-cent average of five analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company’s refining operations reported earnings of C$708 million in the quarter compared with C$479 million in the year-earlier period. Suncor attributed its record refining results to lower feedstock costs for crude oil processed at its inland refineries. It also booked a gain on the revaluation of U.S.-dollar denominated debt of C$252 million in the quarter.

Suncor Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams has been evaluating the company’s expansion plans since taking over from his predecessor Rick George earlier this year. The company is looking at ways to reduce costs amid an expansion, including its oil-sands operations that may boost output to 1 million barrels a day by 2020.

The company plans to delay development of its Fort Hills oil-sands project and is still evaluating costs for the planned Voyageur upgrader with Total SA, Williams said during a conference call today. Capital spending next year may be “around” C$7.5 billion from an earlier target of between C$8 billion and C$9 billion, he said.

Output fell 1.8 percent in the quarter to the equivalent of 535,300 barrels a day from a year earlier, according to the statement.

Suncor rose 3.5 percent to C$34.68 at the close in Toronto, the most since Aug. 3. The stock, which has gained 18 percent this year, has 21 buy and three hold ratings from analysts.

(Updates with closing share price in last paragraph.)
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