Imperial Oil Ltd. is raising its quarterly dividend after higher crude oil prices contributed to a doubling of revenues and a big surge in fourth-quarter profit.
The Calgary-Alta. based oil company is increasing its quarterly dividend on April 1 by 26 per cent to 34 cents a share, up from 27 cents a share.
The company earned net income of $813 million or $1.18 per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
“What a difference a year makes,” Imperial chairman, president and CEO Brad Corson said during a conference call to discuss the company’s results. “We continue to make the most of the improving and attractive business environment. We saw continued demand recovery throughout the year and significant improvement in commodity prices, both of which are reflected in our results.”
That compared with a net loss of $1.15 billion or $1.56 per share in the same period of 2020, when it took a $1.17-billion writedown related to Canadian unconventional natural gas assets.
Excluding the charge, Imperial earned $25 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In all, Imperial’s 2021 shareholder returns of nearly $3 billion through dividend payments and share repurchases set an all-time record for the long-established petroleum company.