Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) Open to Even More Deals


Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) (TSE:SU) recently acquired the struggling Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. (TSE:COS). After completing this deal, reports suggest that Suncor is open to even more M&A opportunities in the near future. Depending on your viewpoint, this could either help or hurt Canadian and American oil firms in today’s era of tepid oil prices.

Suncor Energy Inc. Open to Expanding Its Portfolio

After a heated battle with Canadian Oil Sands shareholders that lasted a few months, Suncor is open to further deals. Apparently, the $6.8 billion acquisition energized the oil firm to seek out new lucrative options. With oil trading at around $41 barrel, Suncor could land some cheap buys.

Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU)

Speaking at an energy conference in Toronto this week, Suncor CFO Alister Cowan told the Financial Post that if the price is right then it’s definitely interested. The “right price” comment was in relation to Syncrude, in which Suncor increased its stake in. Cowan also sent the remark directly to Fort Hills.

Last year, Suncor received a portion of shares in Fort Hills a project. This is an oilsands project set to be completed next year. It owns just under 51 percent of the project, while Total SA and Teck Resources Ltd. (NYSE:TCK) (TSE:TCK.B) own the remaining sum.

Reportedly, Suncor’s current strategy consists of expanding its presence into familiar territory. Other moves include increasing its production and reduce its capital costs by installing new technologies. To be socially responsible, Suncor is also looking to cut its greenhouse emissions.

Another element to its strategy could be job cuts. Since it expects its share price to remain lower for a bit longer, it may have to slash its labor force numbers.

“We are in a continuous improvement mode,” Cowan said. “As we look at all part of our business and we may evaluate that we will not fill vacancies or potential changes in the workforce. We got to be prepared to be competitive.”

In the meantime, Suncor is biding its time for the pipeline project in the province of Alberta to be approved. With the federal and provincial government not too keen on the pipelines, it could be a while until something happens. Perhaps even a new administration in Alberta. Until then, Suncor may have to wait a bit longer to move forward on other projects.

Year-to-date, Suncor shares have been performing well as they’re up 12 percent at $29 a share. Its Canadian counterpart has inched higher year-to-date by around four percent at $37 a share.

Analysts List Suncor Energy Inc. as a Buy

The general consensus from analysts in Canada and the U.S. is that Suncor is a buy.

In a report released Wednesday, Zacks Investment Research upgraded the firm’s stock from “hold” to “strong-buy.” With a $33 price target, Zacks analysts see a potential 14 percent upside from its previous close.

According to the Zacks report, Suncor is now the biggest energy firm in Canada. Moreover, Suncor has “substantial growth opportunities,” an interesting asset base and the potential for high returns in the long term. Analysts think Suncor can create massive cash flows from its wave of startups and projects. One other thing that is driving analyst interest: its productions have been rising at a record rate.

“The company has also not been shy of divesting assets, particularly those that do not fit into its long-term growth plan,” the report said. “The proceeds from the sale will likely be used for more profitable projects.”

Since the start of the year, Suncor has received “buy,” “outperform” and “neutral” ratings. Some of the buy ratings come from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. JPMorgan listed the stock as neutral.

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