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Penn West reports larger Q4 loss, cuts dividend

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Penn West Petroleum (TSE:PWT) (NYSE:PWE), a Canadian conventional oil producer, reported a larger loss in the fourth quarter, and said it plans to further cut its quarterly dividend in response to falling crude prices. Shares climbed premarket in New York.

Net loss expanded to C$1.77 billion, or C$3.57 per share, in the October-to-December quarter, from C$675 million, or C$1.38 per share, a year earlier, the Calgary, Alberta-based company said in a statement today.

Revenue decreased 24 percent from last year to $473 million.

Penn West cut its quarterly dividend to C$0.01 per share from C$0.03 per share. The company trimmed its dividend to C$0.03 from C$0.14 on December 17. A first-quarter dividend will paid on April 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 31.

Cash flow, a measure of a company’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, dropped to C$137 million, or C$0.28 per share, C$203 million, or C$0.42 per share, a year earlier.

Total production fell 22 percent to 97,143 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Average sales price for light oil and natural gas liquids fell to $68.18 per barrel from $78.46, while heavy oil prices have fallen to C$54.35 from C$58.78.

The company said it took a non-cash goodwill impairment of $1.1 billion in the quarter.

Moving forward, the company said there has been no changes to its guidance for 2015 forecast average production of 90,000 to 100,000 boe/d and forecast funds flow of C$500 million to C$550 million.

“If crude oil prices persist below US$50 per barrel in to the second half of 2015, we do foresee potential challenges complying with our covenants,” chief executive officer David Roberts said in the statement.

The company’s U.S.-listed shares rose as much as 8 percent after closing down 3.8 percent at $1.51 yesterday. The stock has lost four-fifths of its value in the past six months.

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