Canadian Natural Resources +1.2% as earnings, dividend improve

Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ +1.2%) is trading higher after raising its dividend 12.5% and posting a 50% improvement in adjusted Q4 earnings as production edged higher.

The dividend hike was the second in three months, and now is 80% higher than a year ago.

Despite the strong growth, Q4 results were no better than mixed compared with analyst estimates, and cash flow per share was $1.64, $0.10 below expectations.

Q4 crude oil at natural gas liquids production volumes rose 2% Y/Y as a result of steady production at Horizon, production growth at Pelican Lake and increased NGL output; natural gas production rose 5% Y/Y due to the Montney drilling program at Septimus.

Total FY 2013 production more than 671K boe, up 3% Y/Y.

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