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Energy Firm Reacts to Oil Price Weakening with 2019 Budget Decrease
Research Report

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The company's revised estimates, the reasons for and repercussions of them are addressed in a CIBC report.

In an Aug. 26 research note, analyst Dave Popowich reported that his firm CIBC reduced its price target on Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP:TSX) to CA$7.25 per share from CA$7.50 due to strip pricing changes. In comparison, the oil and gas company's current share price is about CA$3.67.

CIBC made other small adjustments to its estimates on Whitecap to reflect the company recently reducing its 2019 budget by CA$50 million to CA$400 million. This move, Popowich wrote, reflects "an increasingly cautious industry stance" in a worsening oil price environment.

Consequent to lower spending, Whitecap's Q4/19 production is expected decrease to 74,00075,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (74,00075,000 boe/day) from 77,0009,000 boe/day.

Full-year 2019 production guidance remains the same, however, and Whitecap forecasts free cash flow this year of about CA$135 million, an increase over previous guidance of CA$95 million. "With an estimated FY19 payout ratio of just 82% on recent strip pricing, Whitecap's 9.3% dividend yield looks very safe for the time being," Popowich highlighted.

CIBC anticipates Whitecap's lower spending in H2/19 to carry over into 2020. Thus, the bank decreased its full-year 2020 capital spending forecast on the energy firm to CA$450 million from CA$500 million and reduced its projected production by 4% to 74,015 boe/day.

Popowich concluded that "Whitecap has maintained a relatively strong balance sheet throughout the ongoing industry downturn, and we see that as a competitive advantage worth preserving, even if it comes at the expense of growth."

CIBC has an Outperformer rating on Whitecap.


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Disclosures from CIBC, Whitecap Resources Inc., August 26, 2019

Analyst Certification:
Each CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. research analyst named on the front page of this research report, or at the beginning of any subsection hereof, hereby certifies that (i) the recommendations and opinions expressed herein accurately reflect such research analyst's personal views about the company and securities that are the subject of this report and all other companies and securities mentioned in this report that are covered by such research analyst and (ii) no part of the research analyst's compensation was, is, or will be, directly or indirectly, related to the specific recommendations or views expressed by such research analyst in this report.

Analysts employed outside the U.S. are not registered as research analysts with FINRA. These analysts may not be associated persons of CIBC World Markets Corp. and therefore may not be subject to FINRA Rule 2241 restrictions on communications with a subject company, public appearances and trading securities held by a research analyst account.

Potential Conflicts of Interest:
Equity research analysts employed by CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. are compensated from revenues generated by various CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. businesses, including the CIBC World Markets Investment Banking Department. Research analysts do not receive compensation based upon revenues from specific investment banking transactions. CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. generally prohibits any research analyst and any member of his or her household from executing trades in the securities of a company that such research analyst covers. Additionally, CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. generally prohibits any research analyst from serving as an officer, director or advisory board member of a company that such analyst covers.

In addition to 1% ownership positions in covered companies that are required to be specifically disclosed in this report, CIBC World Markets Corp./Inc. may have a long position of less than 1% or a short position or deal as principal in the securities discussed herein, related securities or in options, futures or other derivative instruments based thereon.

Recipients of this report are advised that any or all of the foregoing arrangements, as well as more specific disclosures set forth below, may at times give rise to potential conflicts of interest.

Important Disclosure Footnotes for Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP)

CIBC World Markets Inc. expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from Whitecap Resources Inc. in the next 3 months.

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