Husky posts profit, will wait on reinstating dividend

Fri May 5, 2017 11:53am EDT
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO: Quote) reported a first-quarter profit on Friday that slightly beat analyst forecasts, but said it would wait before deciding whether to reinstate its dividend given the instability in the oil market.

Calgary-based Husky scrapped its dividend in January 2016 as benchmark U.S. crude plummeted to less than $30 a barrel on concerns about global oversupply. Prices started to rise late last year but have been volatile in recent weeks, hitting a five-month low of $43.76 on Friday.

"The market looks fairly uncertain still and what we would like to do is get another quarter under our belt so we are confident that a full year's results will support a sustainable dividend for the long haul," Husky Chief Executive Officer Rob Peabody said on the company's first-quarter earnings call.

Husky's board of directors will meet to evaluate the dividend before the end of July, he added.

The company, controlled by the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, reported a quarterly profit on Friday that edged past analysts' estimates, helped by higher oil prices.

Husky posted a profit of C$71 million ($52 million), or 6 Canadian cents per share, for the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of C$458 million, or 47 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Husky earned 6 Canadian cents per share, narrowly beating average analysts' estimate of 5 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Husky realized C$41.58 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in the first quarter, up from C$25.02 per boe a year earlier.   Continued...