CALGARY, A.B. – Oilsands producer MEG Energy Corp. is reporting a larger-than-expected first-quarter net loss despite a rise in revenue as its average price for blended bitumen rose by 56 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2018.
The Calgary-based company says it lost $48 million or 16 cents per share in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of $141 million or 47 cents in the same period a year ago.
Analysts had expected a loss of 13 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.
Revenue came in at $919 million, compared with $721 million in the year-earlier quarter, beating analyst expectations of $651 million.
MEG’s loss included a net foreign exchange gain of $78 million and a loss on hedging contracts of $230 million.
Its net earnings in the first quarter of 2018 included a $318-million gain on the sale of its half interest in the Access Pipeline, a net foreign exchange loss of $108 million, and a loss on hedging of $76 million.
MEG bitumen production was 87,100 barrels per day in the first quarter, down from 93,200 bpd a year earlier (and its capacity of 100,000 bpd) due to the Alberta government’s production curtailment program that began Jan. 1, the company said.
However, it said sales averaged 89,800 bpd as it shipped stored barrels to take advantage of higher prices.