Husky Energy boosts dividend for second time this year following strong quarter

Husky Energy Inc. has announced a second dividend increase for 2018, following a two-year period when the company suspended the quarterly payout to shareholders due to weak market conditions.

Quarterly dividends for the Calgary-based company (TSX:HSE) will be increased to 12.5 cents per share payable Oct. 1, from the 7.5 cents per share it has paid since April when payments resumed for the first time since January 2016.

Chief executive Rob Peabody said the higher dividend recognizes Husky’s low net debt and its ability to generate strong free cash flow.

Free cash flow was $500 million for the second quarter, up from $128 million a year earlier, while net debt was $3.0 billion — down from $3.5 billion a year earlier and below the company’s target level.

Husky also reported a $448-million profit in the second quarter, rebounding from a year-earlier loss.

Net earnings improved to 44 cents per share, which compared with a loss of $93 million or 10 cents per share in last year’s second quarter.

Revenue was $5.98 billion for the quarter ended June 30, up from $4.35 billion a year earlier.

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