Activist investors aim to identify companies like this one with the aim of boosting shareholder value. Even though they’re not always successful, those high-profile investors help draw attention to firms with already-good long-term prospects.
This company’s recent challenges should be short-term as the new board spurs the company to improve safety and earnings.
Meanwhile, the stock trades at just 3.7 times the company’s 2023 cash flow forecast.
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SUNCOR ENERGY INC. (Toronto symbol SU; www.suncor.com) is Canada’s largest integrated oil firm with major projects in the Alberta oil sands. Suncor also operates four refineries (three in Canada and one in Colorado), along with 1,875 Petro-Canada gas stations.
Suncor recently opted to retain the Petro-Canada chain after conducting a strategic review. The company feels keeping it will benefit shareholders more than a spinoff.
The review was part of Suncor’s deal with activist investor Elliott Management, which owns 3.4% of the company’s shares. Elliott has pushed the company to sell or spin off Petro-Canada.
That agreement also let Elliott appoint three new independent directors to Suncor’s board. The activist will now exercise its option to appoint a fourth director as the company did not meet certain performance criteria by the end of 2022.
Energy Stocks: Major oil refinery should be running again shortly
Due to equipment damage caused by extreme winter weather, Suncor has temporarily shut down its oil refinery in Commerce City, Colorado. The facility can process 98,000 barrels a day, or 21% of the company’s total refining capacity of 462,000 barrels a day.
Suncor expects the refinery will resume normal operations in March 2023. The shutdown will probably cut its 2023 cash flow by about 2%. However, it’s possible that insurance will cover the lost earnings.
The new board representation should spur Suncor to keep improving its safety record and earnings. That should also give it more room to boost your dividend. With the December 2022 payment, Suncor raised your quarterly dividend by 10.6%. The new annual rate of $2.08 a share yields a high 4.6%.
Including this latest increase, Suncor’s dividend has risen an average 10.2% annually over the last 5 years. The company’s TSI Dividend Sustainability Rating is Above Average.
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