Canadian Natural's third-quarter profit beats on higher prices, output

(Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd’s quarterly profit more than doubled and beat analysts’ estimates on Thursday, helped by higher production and average realized prices.

The company is looking to produce more light crude, which is easier to extract and refine, to take advantage of a more than 20 percent year-over-year rise in global oil prices.

The oil and gas producer was able to sell its light crude to international buyers at an average of $75.46 per barrel generating significant adjusted funds flow, said Canadian Natural President Tim McKay.

The company’s average realized price of oil rose to C$57.89 per barrel from C$46.33, a year earlier.

The Calgary-based company said net income rose to C$1.80 billion, or C$1.47 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$684 million, or 56 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Excluding one-items, the company earned C$1.11 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 90 Canadian cents, according to Refinitiv data.

Canadian Natural also expects its 2018 oil and natural gas liquids output to be in the range of 802,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and 868,000 bbl/d. The company had previously forecast production of 815,000 bbl/d and 885,000 bbl/d.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Shailesh Kuber