Suncor Energy Inc. SU suffers another setback in its efforts to improve safety record. The company's majority-owned subsidiary, Syncrude Canada Ltd., has been charged with safety violations following the death of a worker at the Fort McMurray oil sands mine in June 2021.
The incident was one of a string of fatalities at Suncor-owned oil sands sites in recent years and became the focus of activist Elliott Investment Management LP's strategy to shake up the company's management.
Syncrude was charged by the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety for five violations related to the worker’s death. The laborer died after the excavator he was driving fell into an oil sands mine pond. The charges represent a blow to Suncor's efforts at improving its safety record and rebuilding investor confidence.
Elliott Investment Management has been vocal in its criticism of Suncor's safety record and management, citing repeated operational challenges and safety issues. In a letter introducing its campaign, the activist investor called for a review of SU’s leadership and culture, among other actions.
Suncor has faced several safety incidents in recent years, including a truck accident at its Base Plant mine last year that killed a contractor and injured two others. Two deaths occurred in December 2020 at the Fort Hills mine, while a fatality at the Base Plant mine in July 2021 led to the dismissal of CEO Mark Little. Former ExxonMobil CEO, Rich Kruger, replaced Little in February 2022.
The charges against Syncrude highlight the importance of safety in the oil and gas industry, where workers are often exposed to hazardous conditions. Companies like Suncor are responsible for ensuring the safety of their workers through necessary precautionary measures.
SU has committed to investing in safety programs and initiatives to protect its workers as well as the environment. The company has also made a commitment to transparency and accountability in its operations.
As the industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing conditions and technologies, it is critical that companies like Suncor remain committed to improving their safety records and practices. This will not only protect the workers and the environment, but also boost investor confidence and strengthen the industry as a whole.
Zacks Rank and Key Picks
Currently, Suncor Energy carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the energy sector might look at some better-ranked stocks like NGL Energy Partners NGL, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Liberty Energy LBRT and Ranger Energy Services RNGR, each holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
NGL Energy Partners: The company is worth approximately $420.23 million. Its shares have increased 19.5% in the past year.
NGL is a limited partnership company that operates a vertically-integrated propane business with three segments — retail propane, wholesale supply and marketing, and midstream.
Liberty Energy: The company is valued at around $2.40 billion. It delivered an average earnings surprise of 81.53% for the last four quarters and its current dividend yield is 1.55%.
LBRT currently has a forward P/E ratio of 3.76. In comparison, its industry has an average forward P/E of 11.60, which means the company is trading at a discount to the group.
Ranger Energy Services: The company is valued at around $242.99 million. In the past year, its shares have decreased 4.7%.
RNGR currently has a forward P/E ratio of 5.30. In comparison, its industry has an average forward P/E of 11.60, which means the company is trading at a discount to the group.
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report