Mostly posted already here but good for a rehash.

Here in Canada, oil sands giant Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) lost 89 cents to $23.09 on 13.8 million shares. The drop came in spite of a lovely mention in a new research note by RBC analyst Greg Pardy. Mr. Pardy was a willing participant in a PR push by Kam Sandhar, Cenovus's executive vice-president of strategy and corporate development, who spoke with the analyst about the company's plans. (Incidentally, Mr. Sandhar himself was an analyst -- though at Peters & Co. -- before joining Cenovus in 2013.) Mr. Pardy provided an obligingly boosterish write-up and reiteration of his "constructive stance towards Cenovus ... [because of its] stern capital discipline, favourable operating momentum and rising shareholder returns."

In terms of specifics, Mr. Sandhar kept things vague, although he indicated that Cenovus plans to be producing at least 800,000 barrels a day by the end of the year (up from its second quarter average of 762,000 barrels a day). It is still putting together its plans for 2023 but expects "moderately higher" spending because of both "inflationary forces and targeted investment." In addition, by the end of this year, Mr. Sandhar expects Cenovus to achieve its near-term net debt target of $4-billion, which Mr. Pardy speculates will lead to "enhanced" dividends and/or buybacks. (The company's current 10.5-cent quarterly dividend represents a relatively modest yield of 1.8 per cent.)

The note concluded with an "outperform" rating on Cenovus's stock and a price target of $32, well above today's close of $23.09. As ever, investors may wish to note the chummy relationship between Mr. Sandhar's employer, Cenovus, and Mr. Pardy's employer, RBC. The bank is obliged to note on its website that it managed financings for the company, makes a market in its securities, and receives compensation for various investment banking and non-securities services.