UPDATE 1-Canada's Suncor Energy Q1 operating profit beats expectations

Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:18pm EDT
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* Q1 op profit C$1.36 billion vs C$1.31 billion a year ago

* Q1 op profit per share C$0.90 vs estimate C$0.75

* Q1 cash flow per share C$1.50 vs C$1.55 a year-ago

* Q1 oil sands production rose 17 percent

* Q1 total refinery utilization 96 pct, up 4 percentage points

April 29 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc's first-quarter operating profit beat analyst expectations, boosted by higher oil sands production and better profitability in refining and marketing.

The quarterly results are the company's first since its March decision to scrap its partially built Voyageur upgrader, part of a joint venture with French oil major Total SA .

Canada's largest oil and gas company's first-quarter operating profit was C$1.367 billion ($1.35 billion), or C$0.90 per share, compared with C$1.318 billion, or C$0.84 per share, in the year-ago period.

The results beat the average analyst forecasts of 75 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.   Continued...