Enbridge says 2013 profit at low end of target, raises payout

Reuters

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc,Canada's largest pipeline operator, said on Wednesday 2013earnings would be at the low end of its target of C$1.74 toC$1.90 per share, but boosted its dividend by 11 percent.

Enbridge, which has forecast that earnings per share willgrow 10 percent to 12 percent annually between 2013 and 2017,said earnings this year and next will be below that target as itcompletes an expansion of its network of pipelines, which nowcarry the bulk of Canada's crude oil exports to the UnitedStates.

"The combination of the peak level of work in progress andsignificant equity prefunding means that earnings per sharegrowth for 2013 and 2014, though strong, will be slightly belowthe long term average of 10-12 percent, with the expectation ofthen climbing above the average beginning in 2015," Al Monaco,the company's chief executive, said in a statement.

Congested Canadian export pipelines have caused Enbridge to ration how much crude shippers can transport on its network.That exacerbates price discounts on oil sands crude against theWest Texas Intermediate benchmark as production getsbottlenecked in Alberta.

The company said it will increase its quarterly dividend to35 Canadian cents per share beginning at the end of March, upfrom 31.5 Canadian cents.

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