Cenovus spending, costs on track following 2017 capex plans

|About: Cenovus Energy, Inc. (CVE)|By:, SA News Editor

Cenovus Energy's (CVE +0.6%) plan to raise spending by 24% next year "strikes the right balance" but other large-cap energy stocks may be more compelling, analysts say.

CVE's budget "strikes the right balance between growth, capital discipline and financial strength," RBC says it it inch the stock's price target higher to $25 from $24.

CVE also has made strides in streamlining costs, Raymond James analyst Chris Cox says, noting the company's plan to restart the previously deferred expansion at Christina Lake was ~20% lower than expected at $16K-$18K per bbl/day.

Nevertheless, Cox says other large-cap Canadian energy names offer a more compelling free cash flow profile and valuation; he maintains his Market Perform and $23 price target on CVE shares.

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