Suncor Energy Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises on Higher Oil Prices

Suncor Energy Inc. (SU), Canada’s largest energy company by market value, said fourth-quarter profit increased as oil prices climbed.

Net income rose to C$1.43 billion ($1.43 billion), or 91 cents a share, from C$1.29 billion, or 82 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said today in a statement. Excluding items that the company said weren’t indicative of operating performance, per-share profit was 91 cents, more than the 89 cent average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil (CL1) traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 10 percent in the quarter, averaging $94.06 a barrel compared with $85.24 a year earlier. Suncor’s average daily production was the equivalent of 576,500 barrels of oil a day.

The Canadian company halted its Syrian natural-gas output and last month withdrew workers amid civil unrest and sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation. Suncor said on Dec. 11 it wasn’t changing its 2011 or 2012 production forecast because of increased output from Libya, which it hadn’t anticipated.

Suncor may sell its assets in Libya and Syria, Chief Financial Officer Bart Demosky said on Jan. 10 at a BMO Capital Markets conference in New York.

Suncor owns oil-sands operations in northern Alberta, as well as wind farms, a biofuel plant and offshore oil assets.

The earnings were announced after regular trading ended in Canadian markets. Suncor rose 0.6 percent to C$34.54 in Toronto today. The stock has 18 buy and five hold ratings from analysts.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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