Cenovus Stays Focused on Debt Reduction, Cost-Cutting in 2018

By Cara LombardoFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) said Thursday it will continue to focus on debt reduction in 2018 and work to cut more than $1 billion in cumulative costs over the next two years.

"The sooner we can achieve our long-term debt ratio goal, the sooner we can move to balance returning cash to shareholders with disciplined investments in high-return growth," said Cenovus Chief Executive Officer Alex Pourbaix.

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The company, which has been shedding assets to pay off debt, has been targeting a long-term debt ratio of less than two times net debt to adjusted earnings before tax, depreciation and amortization. At the end of its most recent quarter, the ratio was more than 4.5 times.

The Alberta-based company's divestiture efforts come after it closed on a $13.3 billion deal with ConocoPhillips (COP) earlier this year to acquire full ownership of its oil-sands operations and a production platform in the Deep Basin in northwestern Alberta and British Columbia.

Cenovus shares are down 42% this year.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 14, 2017 06:50 ET (11:50 GMT)