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Sector Update: Energy; Encana, Petrowest Report Earnings, Baytex Sweetens Bid for Aurora Oil

Energy shares were advancing in afternoon trading, with the S&P/TSX Energy index up 0.5%, after crude oil prices rose above $100 levels.

Aurora Oil and Gas (AEF.TO): +6.1%

Encana (ECA.TO): +1.4%

Petrowest (PRW.TO): +7.2%

Baytex (BTE.TO): +0.4%

Legacy Oil and Gas (LEG.TO): +1.6%

In corporate news, Encana Tuesday reported it swung to net earnings of US$116 million for Q1 ended March 31, 2014 from a net loss of US$431 million in the same period last year. Operating earnings, a non-GAAP measure, was US$515 million, or US$0.70 per diluted share, up sharply from operating earnings of US$179 million, or US$0.24 per diluted share, a year earlier. The Capital IQ consensus is for non-GAAP diluted EPS of US$0.52.

Cash flow from operations increased to US$1.1 billion, or US$1.48 per diluted share, from US$579 million, or US$0.79 per diluted share.

During the quarter, the North American energy company produced 2,809 MMcf/d of natural gas and 67.9 Mbbls/d of liquids. For 2014, it expects production to total 2,850-3,100 MMcfe/d.

The board of directors also declared a dividend of $0.07 per share, unchanged from the previous payout, to be distributed on June 30 to common shareholders of record as of June 13.

Also, Baytex Energy Monday night said it has raised its offer to buy Aurora Oil & Gas shares to A$1.9 billion (US$1.8 billion), which has been approved by Baytex board of directors. The petroleum and gas company is now acquiring Aurora Oil for A$4.20 per share (previously A$4.10 per share), which will be reflected on the Scheme Implementation Deed.

Lastly, Petrowest reported late on Monday a net income of $4.5 million for Q1 2014, versus a loss of $5.4 million for Q1 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was $11.1 million compared to $6.2 million in Q1 2013. Revenue was $61.1 million, an increase of $15.1 million compared to the same quarter in 2013.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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