Cenovus increases shareholder returns on strong performance in Q3 2021
Company announces dividend increase, plans share buyback program
Calgary, Alberta (November 3, 2021) – Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX: CVE) (NYSE: CVE) continued its strong and reliable operating performance in the third quarter of 2021. Total upstream production of almost 805,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/d) drove solid financial results. The company generated third-quarter cash from operating activities of $2.1 billion and adjusted funds flow of $2.3 billion. Free funds flow of $1.7 billion and strategic refinancing transactions resulted in a reduction in net debt to about $11 billion at the end of the third quarter. The company expects to achieve its interim net debt target of below $10 billion imminently as a result of continued strong cash generation at current commodity prices and receipt of proceeds from announced asset sales. This will pave the way for Cenovus to increase investor returns by commencing a share buyback program of up to 146.5 million of the company’s common shares, representing approximately 10% of its public float, as defined by the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). To facilitate the buyback, Cenovus’s Board of Directors has approved filing an application with the TSX for a normal course issuer bid (NCIB). In addition, the Board has approved doubling Cenovus’s common share dividend effective in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Our outstanding operating and financial results this quarter showcase the strength of our business and demonstrate that we deliver on our commitments,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer. “With our $10 billion net debt target largely achieved, we’re able to take these important steps to increase returns for our shareholders. Our free funds flow capacity will support swiftly advancing toward our longer-term net debt target of less than $8 billion, while balancing growth in shareholder returns.”
The Lloydminster Upgrader in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan produces synthetic crude oil, diluent and ultra-low sulphur diesel. The synthetic crude is used in the production of gasoline and diesel fuels in refineries in Canada and the U.S.
Steam generators at Cenovus’s Foster Creek project in northern Alberta. The project uses a process called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) to produce oil, which involves drilling into the reservoir and injecting steam at a low pressure to soften the oil so it can be pumped to the surface.
The Rush Lake Thermal Project in Saskatchewan is located east of Lloydminster.