Oil and Gas

Canadian Natural Resources adj profit beats as expenses fall

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, the country’s largest independent petroleum producer, reported a better-than-expected adjusted earnings as the company’s production expenses fell.

Excluding a charge of C$579 million ($440 million) related to Alberta’s increased corporate tax rate, the company reported earnings of 16 Canadian cents per share in the second quarter ended June 30.

Analysts on average had expected 10 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which operates in Western Canada, the North Sea and offshore West Africa, reported a net loss of C$405 million, or 37 Canadian cents per share, for the quarter, compared with a profit of C$1.07 billion, or 97 Canadian cents, a year earlier. {ID:nMKWk5XXGa]

The company said cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to pay for new projects and drilling, fell about 43 percent to C$1.5 billion.

Revenue fell about 36 percent to C$3.42 billion.

Average production expenses fell to C$13.39 per barrel of oil equivalent from C$15.35. ($1 = 1.3174 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary and Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)