Crescent Point Energy Corp. has written down the value of its assets by $2.7-billion − an amount exceeding its market capitalization − as part of restructuring efforts launched late last year by its newly appointed chief executive officer.
Crescent Point said that after the impairment, which led to a $2.4-billion fourth-quarter net loss, the company’s balance sheet better reflects the value of its oil and gas assets in the current weak environment as well as its higher cost of capital.
The company, best known for its operations in Saskatchewan, had been criticized after oil markets went into a tailspin in 2014 for making a series of acquisitions funded by share issues, even as its stock price fell.
Last year, its management and board were targeted by activist investor Cation Capital Inc. Cation demanded Crescent Point install four of its own director nominees. It failed in that quest, but its message resonated with many investors and founding CEO Scott Saxberg resigned.
He was replaced last fall by Craig Bryksa, who has emphasized stringent capital-allocation standards, debt reduction and boosting shareholder returns, partly by buying back shares. The non-cash impairment amount is after tax, and it does not impact the company’s cash flow or its available credit, Crescent Point stressed.
“We recognized early on there's a few things we want to get behind us and start moving forward,” Mr. Bryksa told analysts on Thursday. “And I think what we've laid out today … is a good step in that direction.”
In the fourth quarter, the company lost $2.4-billion, or $4.35 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $56.4-million, or 10 cents a share. Cash flow fell 27 per cent to $359.1-million, or 61 cents a share. The cash flow beat analysts’ expectations, according to AltaCorp Capital Inc., while it noted capital spending was $38-million under budget.
Still, the company’s shares sank 7 per cent to $3.98 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down by more than half in the past year. That puts its market capitalization at just over $2-billion.
Production averaged 178,198 barrels of oil equivalent a day, about flat with the same period in 2017, though the company divested assets producing about 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.