Enbridge earnings rise in Q3; CEO encouraged by BC-Alberta energy agreement

Canada's biggest energy transport company Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) reported steady adjusted earnings in its third-quarter results on Wednesday. Earnings per share were just one cent short of Thomson Reuters analyst estimates of 35 cents.

Compared with the same period last year, the company's adjusted earnings rose by four percent. In terms of net income, the $421 million for this Q3 are more than double last year's figure – attributed to Enbridge's hedging program and an insurance payment.

Although this quarter marks a $210 million earnings drop on the first reporting period of the year, supply increases from western Canada in the first quarter resulted in strong earnings for the nine months ending September 30.

In a conference call with investors on Wednesday, CEO Al Monaco addressed the recent developments in BC and Alberta's energy partnership. On Tuesday, the premiers of the two provinces agreed on a framework for energy transportation – a major push forward for Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

“It’s a good pathway here," said Monaco, as reported by the Globe and Mail. "We’re working on ways to help to move the project forward to yes rather than not being able to come to agreement. If you think about where we were just a few months ago, I think it’s clear there’s momentum.”

During the three months leading up to October, the company announced $4 billion worth of new oil sands infrastructure investment. These include the proposed Norlite Pipeline and the Wood Buffalo pipeline extension.

"Our strategic position and scale in the Alberta oil sands continues to present great growth opportunities for Enbridge," CEO Al Monaco noted in a statement. "The projects we have recently announced will add significant incremental capacity from the region, allowing us to provide cost-effective transportation solutions for producers."

The company also continued to expand its renewable energy portfolio, spending $100 million on a 50% stake in the Saint Robert Bellarmin Wind Project – an 80-megawatt windfarm in Quebec.

"Renewable energy is a growing part of our business," said Monaco. "We are the number one producer of solar energy in Canada, the second largest producer of wind power and currently have an interest in over 1,700 MW of renewable power generation capacity."

The energy giant was up nearly 2% on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, trading at $44.43 per share.