(Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands Ltd's COS.TO third-quarter profit jumped 40 percent and the company raised its full-year cash flow guidance, despite a fall in synthetic crude oil prices.
Profit at the company, which owns the largest stake in Syncrude Canada, rose to C$338 million ($338 million), or 70 Canadian cents a share, up from a year-earlier C$242 million, or 50 Canadian cents a share, as sales volumes rose and costs fell.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 57 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The oil sands-derived crude price averaged about $89.89 per barrel in the quarter, down from $97.89, a year earlier.
"As a result of stronger than expected pricing for (Synthetic Crude Oil) year-to-date, we have increased our 2012 cash flow guidance," Canadian Oil Sands said.
The company expects cash flow from operations for 2012 of $1.7 billion, up 20 percent.
The upgrade came despite an 8 percent fall in cash flow - a glimpse into the company's ability to fund development and pay out dividends - in the third quarter to C$470 million, or 97 Canadian cents per share.
During the quarter, sales averaged 113,300 barrels a day net to the company, up about 4 percent from a year earlier, with operating costs averaging C$36.17 a barrel, compared with C$37.19 last year.
Shares of Canadian Oil Sands, which has a 37 percent stake in the massive Syncrude tar sands mining and synthetic crude operation in northern Alberta, closed at C$20.60 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
($1 = 1.0005 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Scott Haggett in Calgary and Garima Goel in Bangalore; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Richard Pullin