* 1st quarter net C$0.37/share vs year-ago C$0.66/shr
* Production drops 11 pct on unplanned maintenance
* 2013 production guidance trimmed 5 pct
CALGARY, Alberta, April 30 Canadian Oil Sands
Ltd, which owns the largest stake in Syncrude Canada
Ltd, said on Tuesday that first-quarter profit fell by nearly
half as operating problems and the oil sands facility lowered
Canadian Oil Sands, which has a 37 percent stake in the
massive Syncrude tar sands mining and synthetic crude operation
in northern Alberta, said profit fell 44 percent to C$177
million ($176 million), or 37 Canadian cents a share, from a
year-earlier C$318 million, or 66 Canadian cents.
Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of 41 Canadian
cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
During the quarter, sales averaged 95,683 barrels per day net
to the company, down 11 percent from a year earlier, with
operating costs averaging C$41.20 a barrel, compared with
C$32.58 per barrel last year.
The company said the production drop came on a series of
unplanned outages at Syncrude's operation in northern Alberta.
While it believes it has dealt with the issues, it said it will
reduce its 2013 production target by 5 percent, to 38.6 million
barrels net to the company, because of the weak output in the
"Syncrude production was lower than expected this quarter,
as we experienced several unplanned outages in extraction and
upgrading," Marcel Coutu, the company's chief executive, said in
a statement. "We believe the issues that impacted operations
since late 2012 have been resolved."
The average price for its synthetic crude dropped slightly
to C$96.11 per barrel from C$97.07.
The company's cash flow, a measure of ability to pay for new
projects, fell 39 percent to C$275 million, or 57 Canadian
cents, from C$454 million or 94 Canadian cents in the year-prior
Canadian Oil Sands shares closed 2.3 percent higher at
C$19.79 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The results
were released after the market closed.