What happened

Shares of Crescent Point Energy (CPG) soared on Sept. 13, closing the day up 14.4% after the oil stock unexpectedly announced a big dividend raise.

So what

Crescent Point announced a quarterly dividend increase of $0.03 Canadian per share, equaling an annual dividend of CA$0.12 a share. Before this, the company was barely paying a dividend: It was distributing only CA$0.01 per share over the last four quarters, for a current yield of only 0.2%.

Two people happily counting money.

Image source: Getty Images.

It's a huge dividend bump that unsurprisingly caught investors' attention among oil stocks. Over the past year, Crescent Point's cash flows grew substantially, driven partly by the acquisition of Kaybob Duvernay in April and the disposal of noncore assets in Saskatchewan. That encouraged management to announce a dividend raise today that it believes is sustainable even at lower oil prices.

Crescent Point also announced that it expects to generate excess cash flow worth CA$625 million to CA$875 million in 2022 at a West Texas Intermediate crude oil price of $65 to $75 per barrel. The company measures excess cash flow as cash from operations adjusted for items such as noncash working capital, capital expenditure, lease liability payments, and dividends, among other things. To give you an idea, Crescent Point generated cash from operations worth CA$589.2 million and excess cash flow worth CA$401.7 million in the six months through June 30.

Now what

With oil prices on the rise, companies across the board are rewarding shareholders with dividend increases. Investors in Crescent Point didn't expect a raise until next year, so today's announcement was a huge one. With crude oil at $55 per barrel, Crescent Point expects excess cash flow to grow to CA$1.6 billion by 2026. If oil prices average $75 per barrel, its excess cash flow could well cross CA$5 billion mark in five years.