November 3, 2010 / 12:02 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Enbridge profit takes hit from pipeline woes

* Q3 EPS C$0.42 vs C$0.83 year-ago

* Q3 adj EPS C$0.53 vs C$0.42 year-ago

* Adjusted EPS exceeds C$0.47 expected

* Shares edge lower in Toronto (Adds details and comments; updates shares)

By Scott Haggett

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO), whose pipeline woes this summer disrupted North American oil markets, said its third-quarter profit almost halved, hurt by the ruptures on two of its key pipelines.

The company, whose pipelines carry the bulk of Canada’s crude oil exports to the United States, said net income fell to C$157 million ($155 million), or 42 Canadian cents per share, from C$304 million, or 83 Canadian cents a share, in the same quarter of 2009.

Enbridge took an C$85 million charge to account for the cost of cleaning up its July 26 spill near Marshall, Michigan, which shut its 290,000 barrel per day line 6B for nine weeks.

The charge also accounted for the cost of an eight-day closure of Enbridge’s larger Line 6A, which was shutdown in September.

The shutdowns raised oil prices in the United States, depressed Canadian prices and dampened the earnings of Canadian oil producers including Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO), Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO) and others.

The cause of the July break, which spilled 19,500 barrels into a Michigan river system is still being investigated by U.S. regulators.

The two incidents, along with the deadly explosion that followed the rupture of California natural gas pipeline in September have prompted a harder line from U.S. regulators who are promising tougher enforcement of safety standards.

Enbridge said it has few worries over the increased cost of complying with new rules.

“Enbridge’s program was always well within all of the regulatory guidelines,” Pat Daniel, Enbridge’s chief executive, said on conference call. “Even if there is, for example, tightening up in terms of inspection period or in-line inspection period, we were already inspecting far more frequently than was required by regulation in the past.”

Enbridge’s adjusted profit, which excludes most one-time items, rose 28 percent to C$196 million, or 53 Canadian cents a share, from C$153 million, or 42 Canadian cents a share, in the year-prior quarter.

The adjusted result beat the average analyst estimate of 47 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Enbridge said it was on track to achieve the upper half of its full year earnings outlook of C$2.50-C$2.70 per share.

Enbridge shares fell 12 Canadian cents to C$55.91 by midmorning on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1=$1.01 Canadian Additional reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore

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