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Canada’s biggest energy firm and the largest oil sands outfit Suncor Energy Inc. (SU - Analyst Report) has been a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stock since May 17, 2011. The independent energy exploration and production company has seen its estimates move up following its robust  first quarter  results in early May. Suncor’s attractive fundamentals, positive outlook, and the recent optimism about economic recovery have inspired this bullishness.

Suncor has significant oil sands and conventional production platform, huge long-lived oil-sands reserves and an impressive downstream portfolio. The company’s asset base includes substantial conventional reserves and production at offshore Eastern Canada and in the North Sea, which generate strong margins and should provide free cash flow to fund future oil sands expansion.

Embarking on a series of divestitures, Suncor, which competes with other Canadian behemoths like EnCana Corp. (ECA - Analyst Report), Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ - Analyst Report) etc. – is getting back on track following its merger with Petro-Canada.

Additionally, given our bullish outlook for the medium-term oil price scenario, we think Suncor is nicely positioned to benefit from its leverage to commodity prices. In our opinion, Suncor is one of the best positioned companies to take advantage of the oil price recovery over the next several years. With a large portfolio of growth opportunities, unique asset base and high return potential in the long run, the company has a competitive edge over its peers.

Suncor recently unveiled its ten-year business strategy. In particular, the firm outlined plans to increase production to more than 1 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day (MMBOE/d) by 2020. Suncor expects oil sands production to grow by 10% and company-wide production to grow by 8% in each of the next ten years.

Growth will mainly come from Suncor's in situ projects (Firebag Stages 3 through 6 and the second stage of MacKay River), investments, as well as ongoing production in international and offshore operations. The C$1.75 billion strategic partnership with French oil major Total SA (TOT - Analyst Report), to jointly develop the Fort Hills and Joslyn oil sands mining projects, will also play a critical role.

On the whole, we believe Suncor is favorably positioned to continue accelerating revenue and earnings growth over the next few quarters.

Calgary, Alberta-based Suncor is Canada’s premier integrated energy company. Suncor's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore crude oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand.

Following the Petro-Canada acquisition last year, Suncor has become one of the largest owners of oil sands in the world – worth as much as 22 billion barrels. The company has gained new oil sands properties to supplement its existing operations in northern Alberta, making it the dominant producer in the region where reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, Suncor explores, acquires, develops, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas in Canada and internationally, and it transports and refines crude oil and markets petroleum and petrochemical products primarily in Canada.

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