London Free Press (Canada): Imperial, Shell profits soaring: “Two of Canada's biggest energy producers and gasoline retailers reported record third-quarter profits yesterday due to soaring oil prices, higher refining margins and increasing production.” (ShellNews.net)
CALGARY -- Two of Canada's biggest energy producers and gasoline retailers reported record third-quarter profits yesterday due to soaring oil prices, higher refining margins and increasing production. Imperial Oil and Shell Canada will be able to use the record net earnings to bolster balance sheets in preparation for major new megaprojects currently in the planning phase. The earnings reports were warmly received by investors, boosting share values in both companies.
Imperial recorded the best third quarter in its 125-year history with $539 million in profits representing $1.52 a share, a jump of nearly 44 per cent from a year earlier.
Shell also had its most profitable third quarter on record, earning $451 million with a large boost from its relatively new oilsands operations.
Shell's earnings, worth $1.64 a share, were up 94 per cent from the same period in 2003.
Both companies have already announced multibillion-dollar plans for the oilsands in northern Alberta and are lead players in a consortium moving to construct a $7-billion natural gas pipeline from the Mackenzie Delta in the Northwest Territories.
"Regardless of short-term commodity prices, our focus remains on continually improving base operations while advancing major projects aimed at profitable growth in future production," Imperial chairperson and chief executive Tim Hearn said.
Crude oil prices that averaged 44 per cent above year-earlier levels were the main reason for the record profits.
A look at unfolding third-quarter profits in the oilpatch:
Shell Canada: Records most profitable third quarter ever with net earnings of $451 million, $1.64 a share, up 94 per cent on soaring commodity prices and strong refining margins.
Imperial Oil: Unveils quarterly profits of $539 million, $1.52 a share, up 44 per cent over 2003 and a record high for Canada's largest integrated oil company.
Husky Energy: Third-quarter profits rise nearly 15 per cent to $286 million, 56 cents a share. Earnings negatively impacted by $115-million loss from company's crude oil hedging program.
Remaining companies: Two large integrated energy companies have yet to release third-quarter results. Suncor Energy reports Oct. 28, while Petro-Canada releases earnings Nov. 4.