October 27, 2011 / 12:13 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 2-Cenovus Q3 profit misses analysts' estimate

(Adds details from company statement)

* Q3 EPS C$0.40 vs est. C$0.51

* Q3 cash flow rose 56 percent

* Says conventional oil output falls

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Canadian oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc’s quarterly profit rose but missed analysts expectations, partly hurt by lower output from conventional oil plays.

The company said conventional oil output slightly fell, hurt by natural declines at mature assets and as flooding in Saskatchewan earlier this year delayed drilling activity.

In the third quarter, Cenovus -- best known for its Foster Creek and Christina Lake projects in Alberta -- earned C$510 million ($502.9 million), or 67 Canadian cents a share, up from C$295 million, or 39 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding items, the company’s profit was 40 Canadian cents a share, that lagged analysts’ estimate of 51 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cash flow, a glimpse into the company’s ability to fund its development projects, rose 56 percent to C$793 million.

Cenovus, which has an oil sands production and refining joint venture with ConocoPhillips , said oil output rose 4 percent to 133,496 barrels a day on higher production from unconventional oil plays, Foster Creek and Christina Lake.

Average realized oil price, including hedging, rose 10 percent to $68.13 per barrel.

Cenovus shares closed at C$36.21 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, representing a 9 percent gain, year-to-date. They have handily outperformed the TSX energy group, which is down about 15 percent in the same period. ($1 = 1.014 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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