Enbridge hikes outlook, raises dividend and plans share buybacks

Pipeline operator boosted by rising demand for oil and gas Author of the article: Enbridge Inc forecasts higher core earnings in 2022 on rising demand for oil and gas. Photo by Reuters/Dan Riedlhuber/File Photo Enbridge Inc on Tuesday raised its dividend and announced plans to buyback shares, as the Canadian pipeline operator forecast higher core…
Enbridge hikes outlook, raises dividend and plans share buybacks

Pipeline operator boosted by rising demand for oil and gas

Author of the article:

Enbridge Inc forecasts higher core earnings in 2022 on rising demand for oil and gas. Photo by Reuters/Dan Riedlhuber/File Photo

Enbridge Inc on Tuesday raised its dividend and announced plans to buyback shares, as the Canadian pipeline operator forecast higher core earnings in 2022 on rising demand for oil and gas.

Energy stocks have bounced back this year as investors are rewarding companies that are disciplined with their capital and as many North American energy firms are returning higher free cash flow to shareholders rather than investing in growth.

Pipeline operators have also benefited from shipping volumes that have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic lows on the back of strengthening global demand for oil and gas.

Enbridge raised its quarterly dividend by 3 per cent to 86 cents per share, effective March, and said it would buyback up to US$1.5 billion of its outstanding shares.

The company also forecast 2022 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) between US$15 billion and US$15.6 billion, higher than its 2021 expectations of US$13.9 billion to US$14.3 billion.

The company said it expects 2022 distributable cash flow per share of US$5.20 to US$5.50, about 9 per cent to 10 per cent higher than its 2021 guidance.

Enbridge expects to have US$5 billion to US$6 billion of annual investment capacity as part of its three-year plan, of which US$3 billion to US$4 billion is prioritized to be used for core low capital intensity and utility-like investments.

It also sanctioned US$1.1 billion of new capital projects, which is expected to drive EBITDA generation through 2024.

“We view the first glance at investor day as neutral with financial guidance roughly in-line and an equity returns plan that contemplates share repurchases with no commitment made today,” analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Hold & Co wrote in a note.

Enbridge, which set emission reduction targets last year, hopes to be a net zero emitter of greenhouse gases by 2050.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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