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Canadian Natural Resources reports fourth quarter profit, raises dividend

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. chairman Murray Edwards, left, prepares to address the company's annual meeting in Calgary on May 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. raised its dividend as it reported a profit in its most recent quarter compared with a loss in the same period a year earlier.

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The energy company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 42.5 cents per share, up from its previous rate of 37.5 cents.

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The increased payment to shareholders came as Canadian Natural says it earned $597 million or 50 cents per diluted share for the three-month period ended Dec. 31. That compared with a loss of $776 million or 64 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Canadian Natural says it earned $686 million or 58 cents per diluted share from operations for the quarter compared with an adjusted loss from operations of $255 million or 21 cents per diluted share in the same quarter a year earlier.

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Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 70 cents per diluted share for the quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Production in the quarter was 1,156,276 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 1,081,368 in the fourth quarter of 2018 as an acquisition of thermal in situ and primary heavy crude oil assets from Devon Canada offset the impact of the completion of a planned turnaround and a piping replacement at its Horizon project in the quarter.

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