Suncor Energy misses expectations with $302M loss on lower production, prices

CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. is reporting a third-quarter operating loss of $302 million or 20 cents per share as revenue fell 34 per cent to $6.5 billion due to lower production and oil prices compared with the same period of 2019.

The Calgary-based company earned $1.114 billion or 72 cents per share in the third quarter of 2019 on revenue of $9.9 billion.

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Suncor says maintenance outages across its oilsands and refining operations resulted in production falling to 616,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 762,000 boe/d in the year-earlier period, while refinery output fell to 399,700 barrels per day or 87 per cent utilization from 463,700 bpd or 100 per cent.

Its financial returns missed analyst expectations of an operating loss of $241 million or 11 cents per share on revenue of $7 billion, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

Suncor, which announced three weeks ago it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent, says it is on track to achieve its $1-billion operating cost reduction target by the end of 2020.

It reported a net loss of $12 million in the three months ended Sept. 30 compared to net earnings of $1.035 billion in the year-earlier period, noting that the recent loss includes a $290-million unrealized after-tax foreign exchange gain on U.S. dollar debt and the year-earlier figure included a $127-million debt loss and an after-tax gain of $48 million from asset sales.

"We are disappointed with our recent operational performance so we are strengthening our focus on the company’s commitment to reliability," said CEO Mark Little in a statement.

Suncor revealed this week it plans to move its Petro-Canada head office and most of the associated 700 employees to Calgary from southern Ontario next year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020.

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