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Encana Posts Profit In Q2 On Higher Output, Names Clayton Woitas Chairman

Canadian energy producer Encana Corp. (ECA.TO: Quote,ECA: Quote) Wednesday said it has appointed Clayton Woitas as board chairman, to succeed David O'Brien, who has stepped down after serving the firm for more than 10 years. The company also reported a turnaround to profit in its second quarter on higher production, and said it is well-positioned to deliver its full-year targets.

Liquids production for the second quarter was about 47,600 barrels per day or bbls/d, up 69 percent from a year earlier. Natural gas production for the quarter averaged around 2.8 billion cubic feet per day or Bcf/d, down 1 percent from last year.

Encana realized gas price dropped to $4.17 per Mcf from $4.79 per Mcf last year. Realized liquids price was $68.25 per bbl, lower than $80.32 per bbl a year ago.

For the quarter, the company posted net earnings of $730 million, compared to a loss of $1.48 billion in the previous year.

Operating earnings, an adjusted figure, for the recent quarter were $0.34 per share, while the firm posted $0.27 per share in the prior year. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.17 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Doug Suttles, president and CEO of the company said, "Our results over the first half of the year have us well-positioned to deliver on our guidance targets for 2013. Our focus moving forward is to continue to exercise capital discipline while working to achieve ever greater efficiencies in how we run our business."

Woitas will also be the chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee and an ex-officio member of all other board committees. David O'Brien will remain a director of Encana. Further, the company said Peter Dea has assumed the role of chair of the Corporate Responsibility, Environment, Health & Safety Committee, of which Woitas was previously the Chair.

The company has appointed Doug Suttles as president and CEO on June 11.

Encana expects full-year capital investment to be in the lower part of its 2013 guidance range of $3.0 billion to $3.2 billion while cash flow is expected to be in the middle to higher end of the guidance range of $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion.

On July 23, the board declared a dividend of $0.20 per share, to shareholders of record on September 13, payable on September 30, 2013.

ECA closed Tuesday's regular trading at $17.61 on the NYSE. In Wednesday's pre-market, the shares are currently up 1.93 percent.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, the shares ended at C$18.13.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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