* First-quarter profit down 63 percent
* EPS 39 Canadian cents a share
* Production averages 342,000 boed, down 2 pct
CALGARY, Alberta, April 27 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc’s (HSE.TO) first-quarter profit fell 63 percent as production slipped and oil and gas prices weakened with world economies, Canada’s No. 3 oil producer and refiner said on Monday.
Husky, which announced plans last week to spin off its Southeast Asian operations, said net income fell to C$328 million ($269 million), or 39 Canadian cents a share, from C$888 million, or C$1.05 a share, in the first quarter of 2008.
The company, controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, was expected to earn 20 Canadian cents per share, according to analyst estimates compiled by Reuters Estimates.
Cash flow, an indicator of the firm’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, fell 63 percent to C$565 million, or 67 Canadian cents a share, from C$1.5 billion, or C$1.81 a share.
Revenue fell 27 percent to C$3.7 billion.
Production in the quarter averaged 342,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, down 2 percent from a year earlier. A large part of the drop was due to planned delays in drilling in tie-ins for natural gas, the company said.
Like its industry peers, Husky, which has extensive heavy oil and oil sands holdings, as well as a refining and marketing business in Canada and the United States, has seen its fortunes dwindle in the past nine months as oil prices fell to below $50 a barrel from a record high above $147.
During the quarter, oil prices averaged $43.31 a barrel, down 55 percent from the year before. Natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange averaged $4.47 per million British thermal units, down 49 percent.
Husky shares fell 14 Canadian cents to C$29.76 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Rob Wilson