Will Dividend Policies at Husky Energy Change?

| About: Husky Energy (HUSKF)

As production falls in 2009 for many energy companies on sharply lower commodity prices, analysts are questioning whether dividend policies will change as well. One name in question is Husky Energy Inc. (OTCPK:HUSKF). The analyst: Terry Peters at Canaccord Adams.

As a result of Husky’s capital and operating budget for the year, Mr. Peters has adjusted his forecasts to reflect both lower production and lower capital spending plans. His new production estimate is 321,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 6% from his previous forecast and 12% lower than expected 2008 production.

The analyst said in a research note:

Husky’s 2009 guidance reflects an expected impact from significantly lower capital spending in western Canada and east coast turnarounds primarily at White Rose and to a lesser extent at the Terra Nova fields.

He added that downside risk to Husky’s guidance range remains. This is primarily due to higher-than-expected declines in western Canada.

Husky lowered is 2009 capital spending to C$2.6-billion from C$3.6-billion expected in 2008. Canaccord had been forecasting C$3.3-billion this year.

Based on its lower estimates for 2008 and 2009, the firm’s 12-month price target for Husky falls to C$32 per share from C$34. It continues to be rated a "sell."