Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, with adjusted operating earnings of C$2.43 billion (US$1.82 billion), or C$1.81 per share, compared with analysts’ consensus estimate of C$1.76 and almost double the C$1.29 billion, or C$0.89/share, a year ago a quarter.
Fourth-quarter net earnings rose to C$2.74 billion, or C$2.03 per share, from C$1.55 billion, or C$1.07 per share, in the year-ago period.
Suncor ( SU ) said the improved results were the result of higher crude oil prices and refined product realizations, as well as higher upstream production, partially offset by higher operating costs.
Total upstream production in the fourth quarter rose 2.6% year-over-year to 763.1K boe/d from 743.3K boe/d a year ago, primarily driven by higher production from the company’s oil sands.
Crude oil flow through the refinery in the fourth quarter totaled 440 thousand bbl/day and refinery utilization was 94%, compared to refinery throughput of 447 thousand bbl/day and utilization of 96% last quarter, with the decline mainly due to the collapse of a refinery in Commerce City, Colorado, outside of Winter Storm Elliott; The factory is expected to return to normal production by the end of the first quarter.
Suncor ( SU ) said Syncrude maintenance in the second quarter will affect 40k bbl/d of its oil production in the quarter.
Shares of Suncor Energy ( SU ) have gained 15% so far this year and 17% over the past year.