Analysts and attendees at today's Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE) shareholders meeting criticized outgoing CEO Brian Ferguson for not sufficiently addressing concerns over CVE's debt levels or how the company plans to receive fair value for its planned sale of assets.
“The elephant in the room... is that they did not address the last 2.5 months of carnage that the market has had to deal with,” says Rafi Tahmazian, a senior portfolio manager at Canoe Financial.
Ferguson also declined to address whether his decision to step down coincided with last month's purchase of Canadian oil sands assets from ConocoPhillips, which has left CVE increasingly exposed to prices at a time when the oil markets have turned bearish; most analysts peg CVE’s breakeven costs after the acquisition at ~US$50/bbl or higher.
CVE shares have plunged by nearly half since the deal announcement, while COP is roughly flat; CVE tumbled to an all-time low before settling -8.6% on the day.
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