CALGARY — Shares in oilpatch consolidator Whitecap Resources Inc. are on the rise after it closed its acquisition of Kicking Horse Oil & Gas earlier than expected and raised its dividend by eight per cent.

The Calgary-based company says outstanding production from recently acquired and existing assets, along with strong oil prices, will allow it to increase its monthly dividend from 1.508 to 1.625 cents per share, equal to 19.5 cents per share per year.

Its shares rose by 5.2 per cent or 29 cents to $5.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange after it also announced it has approval to buy back and cancel up to five per cent of its shares over the next year.

It announced in early April it would buy private Kicking Horse for 34.5 million Whitecap common shares, $56 million in cash and assumed debt, with the deal expected to close by the end of May.

During the first quarter of 2021, it completed the all-shares purchase of Calgary rivals NAL Resources Ltd. and TORC Oil & Gas Ltd.

Whitecap says it expects to generate more than $200 million to pay down debt in the first half of 2021 after setting aside funds for its capital program and dividends, thanks to benchmark U.S. oil prices that are trending higher than its US$60 per barrel forecast.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:WCP)

The Canadian Press