TransCanada (TRP) officially removes “Canada” from its name, but its CEO, Russ Girling, does not expect this to facilitate approval for pipelines in Canada or the United States.
The Calgary-based company will now be called TC Energy, now that its shareholders approved the name change at the company’s annual meeting on Friday.
“The name TC Energy recognizes our origin as TransCanada Pipelines, while the addition of my” energy “evokes the breadth of our business, which includes pipelines, power generation and energy storage” said Girling.
“But let’s be clear, it’s a change of name, not a change of brand. We are very proud of who we are and what we do.”
The company said the name change reflected growth in the United States and Mexico, notably through its recent acquisition of the US natural gas carrier Columbia Pipeline Group, for US $ 13 billion.
It employs approximately 7,000 people in North America, 3,500 in Canada, 3,200 in the United States and 300 in Mexico.
Some analysts believe, however, that it is also an opportunity for the company to distance itself from Canada, where the difficulty of obtaining approval for new pipeline projects has been pointed out for the overabundance of oil which has caused prices to plunge. last fall and prompted the Alberta government to impose a production cut starting in January.
“I think the name change is just semantics,” wrote American analyst Jennifer Rowland of Edward Jones in an email.
“I don’t think it attracts new investors, but I think it’s a subtle way, or not very subtle from your perception, of minimizing attention to Canada, since some investors are hesitant to invest in Canada being given government intervention in the free market in Alberta and the difficult regulatory environment for energy.”
TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the United States was first proposed in 2008, then rejected by President Barack Obama in 2015. However, it was authorized by President Donald Trump in 2016, and then approved. once again in March, but still remains awaiting court decisions in the states of Montana and Nebraska.
In addition, TransCanada on Friday announced a profit of $ 1 billion for its most recent quarter, up from that of $ 734 million made in the same period a year earlier.
Pipeline operator’s earnings per share reached $ 1.09 for the quarter ended March 31, compared to 83 cents a year ago.
Revenues for the first quarter totaled $ 3.49 billion, a revenue increase from last year’s $ 3.42 billion.
On a comparable basis, TransCanada posted earnings of $ 987 million, or $ 1.07 per share, for the quarter, up from $ 864 million, or 98 cents per share, from a year ago. year.
Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 99 cents a share, according to forecasts collected by Thomson Reuters Eikon.