March 8, 2012 / 10:54 AM / 6 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Canadian Natural posts Q4 profit on higher output

March 8 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd swung to a fourth-quarter profit as Canada’s largest independent oil explorer saw an increase in production.

Canadian Natural, which operates in Canada, the North Sea and offshore West Africa, earned C$832 million ($830.13 million), or 76 Canadian cents a share, compared with a loss of C$309 million, or 28 Canadian cents a share, last year.

Excluding unusual items, the company earned 88 cents a share.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 86 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cash flow, a glimpse into the company’s ability to fund operations, was C$2.2 billion, or C$1.96 a share, up 31 percent from C$1.7 billion, or C$1.50 a share, last year.

In the quarter, Canadian Natural’s production rose 2 percent to 657,599 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The company’s shares closed at C$35.14 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen 8 percent since the start of the year.

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