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Oct 27, 2021

Suncor returns dividend to 2019 levels, hikes buyback plan

Expect more Canadian energy producers to increase dividends: Ryan Lewenza


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Suncor Energy Inc. is sharing the wealth with its shareholders as it benefits from surging oil prices and progress on its plan to increase its annual free funds flow.

The oil producer announced Wednesday that its board of directors has approved a quarterly dividend hike of 100 per cent to $0.42 per common share, from $0.21 per share – marking a return to 2019 levels.

Suncor is also increasing its share buyback plan by an additional two per cent to roughly seven per cent of its float, or 107 million shares.

“Operational initiatives and higher commodity prices than expected have accelerated the achievement of two key objectives, namely increasing return of capital to shareholders and reducing net debt,” the company wrote in an after-hours press release.

Oil prices have rallied in recent months as rising demand has outstripped supply.

Suncor said as of Sept. 30, it had paid down $3.1 billion in debt so far this year, which will continue to be a focus for the company.

In a separate release late Wednesday, Suncor said it swung to an operating profit of $1.04 billion in the third quarter, compared to an operating loss of $338 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, its quarterly funds from operations more than doubled to $2.64 billion, from $1.17 billion in the prior year.