Imperial Oil reports 43% drop in Q3 income driven by tight refinery margins

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CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. is reporting third-quarter net income fell 43 per cent to $424 million or 56 cents per share, compared with $749 million or 94 cents per share in the same period of 2018.

The Calgary-based producer and refiner says cash generated from operating activities added up to $1.38 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, up from $1.21 billion in the third quarter of 2018.

Imperial missed analyst expectations for net income of $488 million or 70 cents per share but beat a cash flow forecast of $1.01 billion, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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The biggest drag on earnings came from Imperial’s downstream operations, where net income slipped to $221 million from $502 million due to lower refinery profit margins and planned maintenance outages.

On the upstream side, Imperial reported slightly lower income due to higher operating expenses and royalties — it noted lower volumes at its Kearl oilsands mine and Cold Lake bitumen works but higher volumes from the Syncrude mining facility, in which it holds a 25 per cent stake.

Total production rose to 407,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 393,000 boe/d in the same period of 2018.

Crude-by-rail shipments averaged 52,000 barrels per day in the third quarter, compared to 64,000 bpd in the second quarter of 2019.

“Imperial achieved its highest third quarter production in 30 years,” said CEO Rich Kruger in a statement.

He is retiring at the end of the year and his role is to be assumed by Brad Corson.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2019.

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Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO)

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