UPDATE 2-Crescent Point cuts dividend as low oil prices bite

Wed Mar 9, 2016 1:08pm EST
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(New throughout, adds comment from CEO, updates share prices)

CALGARY, Alberta, March 9 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Crescent Point Energy Corp slashed its dividend on Wednesday and said it expects to spend C$950 million this year, the lower end of its budget forecast, as the global oil price slump drags on.

The Calgary-based company cut its monthly divided to 3 Canadian cents a share from 10 cents a share, which it said would save about C$430 million annually.

Other Canadian oil and gas producers including Encana Corp and Husky Energy also have cut or suspended dividends and reduced capital budgets.

Crescent Point originally forecast a 2016 budget of C$950 million to C$1.3 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Scott Saxberg said the steps would enable Crescent Point, a light and medium conventional crude producer, to live within its cash flow despite the 65 percent drop in benchmark crude prices since June 2014.

"This gives us time to assess the commodity price environment and make appropriate capital decisions to further improve our positioning in 2017," Saxberg said.

Crescent Point shares were last up 0.4 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$17.85.

The company expects 2016 production to be around 165,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, at the low end of 165,000-172,000 guidance. In the final quarter of 2015 Crescent Point averaged a record 176,000 boepd.   Continued...