Canadian Natural Resources posts first quarterly loss in five years

Canadian Natural Resources posts first quarterly loss in five yearsCanadian Natural Resources (TSE:CNQ), the country’s No.1 heavy oil producer, posted Thursday a net loss of $252 million for the first quarter of the year, as the recent drop in oil prices keeps on affecting its bottom line.

The Calgary-based company, which last reported a net loss in the fourth quarter of 2010, said it had boosted production from oil sands expansions and natural gas acquisitions, while still cutting costs. In response to weak prices, the oil producer has also decided to trim this year's capital spending by another $300 million across all segments, to approximately $5.7 billion.

Canadian Natural is seeking to unload or spin off its so– called royalty lands, which generate about Cdn$186 million in annual income from drilling payments by other producers.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 23 cents per common share payable on July 1.