Calgary-based Husky Energy reports $1.7 billion first quarter loss, cuts dividend

Husky Energy Inc. slashed its dividend as it reported a $1.7-billion loss in its first quarter due to impairment charges related to the plunge in crude oil prices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 1.25 cents per share, down from 12.5 cents per share.

Husky says its loss for the first quarter amounted to $1.71 per share for the quarter ended March 31 compared with a profit of $328 million or 32 cents per share in the same quarter a year earlier.

READ MORE: Husky Energy is cutting spending by $1 billion this year

The loss included $1.1 billion in non-cash asset impairment charges primarily related to the company’s upstream assets in North America due to lower crude oil price assumptions.

Funds from operations for the quarter totalled $25 million or two cents per share, down from $959 million or 95 cents per share in the first three months of 2019.

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READ MORE: Husky Energy confirms 370 job cuts as it trims 2020-21 spending by $500M

Husky chief executive Rob Peabody says the company was hit by severe pricing headwinds, amplified by geopolitical events, COVID-19 and the associated collapse of global oil and refined product demand.

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“We have acted quickly to cut our planned capital spending by half, safely shut in production and reduce refinery throughput to avoid cash-negative margins, with a view that global oil and refined product prices could remain under pressure for a while,” Peabody said.

“These capital reductions and additional cost efficiencies are providing further resilience as we manage the business through this unprecedented market cycle.”

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