03/20/2014 01:37 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Whitecap Resources posts Q4 loss of $1.4, but increase petroleum and gas sales

CALGARY - Whitecap Resources Inc. has reported swinging to a loss in the fourth quarter despite an improvement in revenue.

The Calgary-based oil and gas producer (TSX:WCP) says its net loss was $1.4 million or a penny per diluted share in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $7.5 million or six cents in the same quarter of 2012.

Petroleum and natural gas sales were $122.1 million compared with $94 million in the prior-year period, the company said Thursday.

"For 2014, we are focused on further improving the strength and sustainability of our dividend growth model and providing superior financial returns for our shareholders," Whitecap said in a news release.

"As we experienced in 2013, we believe the current economic environment is supportive of strong crude oil prices for the foreseeable future."

Earlier this week, Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO) said it has agreed to sell some of its producing oil and gas assets in Western Canada for $855 million to Whitecap.

Whitecap has said its annual production will grow to the equivalent of 33,500 barrels per day of oil and gas after the acquisition, allowing it to increase its monthly dividend by 10 per cent.

The company has said its new guidance for 2014 is for production of 31,600 oil-equivalent barrels per day, a 13 per cent increase from the previous target of 27,900. Cash flow netback is estimated at $42.70 per barrel, up seven per cent from the previous guidance of $40 per boe.

Whitecap has also said its monthly dividend will rise to 6.25 per share, or 75 cents per year, from 5.67 cents per month or 68 cents per year. It expects the first dividend at the higher rate will be paid in June.

In two other deals announced earlier this week, Whitecap will pay $107 million to a private company for assets in north-central Alberta and it will sell gas processing equipment and reserves in the Nisku area to Keyera Corp. (TSX:KEY) for $113 million.