Birchcliff Vitality (TSX:BIR:CA) (OTCPK:BIREF) has been considered one of my favourite pure fuel gamers within the northern hemisphere for some time now. I used to personal the popular shares which I used to be capable of decide up once more throughout the COVID disaster and I used to be fairly unhappy to see these most well-liked shares being retired by the corporate as they had been a steady and dependable supply of earnings. As soon as my most well-liked shares had been cancelled, I began writing out of the cash put choices on Birchcliff to begin an extended place within the frequent shares of the corporate, and when the share value dipped on the very first day of the brand new yr, I quickly purchased inventory on the open market to right away set up a full place at a mean value of round C$8.50.
The dividend was certainly hiked to C$0.20 per quarter
Final week, Birchcliff introduced its first dividend for 2023. And according to the corporate’s steerage, the quarterly dividend was ten-folded to C$0.20 per share, for an annualized dividend of C$0.80. Primarily based on the present share value of simply over C$9, the dividend yield is 8.5%.
And it’s essential to appreciate this isn’t a “sucker yield.” With a view to persuade traders the dividend is sustainable and Birchcliff plans to grow to be a dependable dividend payer, the corporate has been educating the market by offering a sensitivity evaluation. Primarily based on an oil value of US$70 WTI and a mean pure fuel value of C$3 on an AECO foundation, Birchcliff can cowl each the dividend funds in addition to its capex program deliberate for this yr.
The used pure fuel costs for the opposite markets Birchcliff is serving are additionally very cheap: The steerage makes use of US$3.35 for Henry Hub and US$3.25 for pure fuel delivered at Daybreak. The C$87M in “extra” free money circulate that might be generated in 2023 is predicated on commodity costs which are on common about 10% increased (C$3.30 AECO, US$3.55 Daybreak, US$3.85 Henry Hub and US$76 WTI).
Because of Birchcliff’s diversification, nearly all of its pure fuel shall be bought primarily based on Daybreak and Henry Hub costs this yr.
The five-year steerage appears to be like sturdy – with room for flexibility
The corporate additionally released its longer-term outlook. We already know Birchcliff anticipates a C$570M funds circulate leading to C$290-310M in free money circulate after caring for the C$260-280M in capex, and we all know the dividend – which can value the corporate C$213M per yr – is totally coated.
It is essential to know the capex quantity will seemingly enhance once more in 2024 as Birchcliff shall be pursuing a mid-single-digit manufacturing progress rhythm. For 2024, as an example, the corporate plans to spend C$355M on capex however this could nonetheless lead to a C$177M extra free money circulate after paying the dividend. Granted, Birchcliff is utilizing a mean pure as value of C$4.40 AECO, US$4.45 Daybreak and US$4.60 Henry Hub for this projection, so if these costs aren’t met, the free money circulate end result might are available in decrease.
By 2026, Birchcliff anticipates to succeed in a comparatively steady manufacturing charge of 90,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day and we see that in 2027, the capex drops to C$285M which we should always contemplate to be roughly the sustaining capex to maintain the manufacturing charge steady. Underneath this state of affairs, and utilizing the aforementioned pure fuel costs, Birchcliff will generate roughly C$900M in cumulative extra free money circulate (after taking the dividend funds into consideration) and finish 2027 with about C$725M in internet money. That’s the idea as I do count on Birchcliff to have the ability to scale its capex relying on the pure fuel value. Moreover, particular dividends are seemingly as properly however on the present share value I might really like Birchcliff to purchase again its personal shares at a average tempo. Shopping for again 11M shares per yr (about 4% of the share depend) would value the corporate roughly C$100M per yr on the present share value and likewise make the dividend extra inexpensive.
I’ve a full-sized lengthy place and I’ve been writing extra put choices currently with as an example a P9 expiring in April for an choice premium of C$1.03. If the share value of Birchcliff trades above C$9 at expiration, I’ll make simply over C$100 in choice premiums. And if it trades under C$9 I’m principally selecting up extra inventory at C$7.97 with a ten% dividend yield.
I’m not married to yield, and if Birchcliff wants to chop it as a result of pure fuel costs begin buying and selling under the brink, so be it. However wanting on the futures marketplace for the Henry Hub, costs seem like rising once more from this summer season on with US$3.54 as price quoted for delivery in July and US$4.70 for fuel delivered in January 2024.
Editor’s Be aware: This text discusses a number of securities that don’t commerce on a serious U.S. trade. Please concentrate on the dangers related to these shares.