Enbridge Inc. was off only slightly today after surging the most in more than six years yesterday after it boosted its dividend and said it plans to shift assets to an affiliate.

The shares of Enbridge, Canada's largest pipeline operator, gained as much as 20 percent, the biggest intraday climb since October 2008 and the highest price on record. The stock has increased 32 percent this year.

Enbridge said Wednesday it plans to move C$17 billion ($15 billion) worth of Canadian liquids pipelines to the Enbridge Income Fund to help pay for capital investment. The company also boosted its dividend 33 percent and said earnings per share next year will be C$2.05 to C$2.35.

The so-called dropdown allows Enbridge “to accelerate dividend growth immediately and for the next 4+ years,” Matthew Akman, a Toronto-based analyst for ScotiaBank, wrote in a note today.

The boost in dividend comes as oil producers are cutting their payouts. Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. Wednesday said it would reduce its quarterly dividend by 42 percent to 20 cents a share in late January. Enbridge ships crude from Canadian producers through its network of pipelines across North America.

Earnings Boost

Enbridge Chief Executive Officer Al Monaco plans C$44 billion of spending through 2018 to add and expand pipelines and build power plants. The projects will help boost earnings per share by 10 to 12 percent to 2018, Monaco reiterated today.

“This concept isn’t new to us, and it’s similar to the dropdowns we’ve been doing, but it’s much bigger, because it involves all of our Canadian liquids, pipelines assets and some renewable assets as well,” Monaco said today in a conference call with analysts.

For bondholders, the news was less positive.

The 3.5 percent global bonds due June 2024 fell 4 percent, sending the yield to 4.2 percent.

Standard & Poor’s said yesterday the outlook on Enbridge bonds was changed to negative from stable following the shift of assets.

“We believe that there is a potential for financial metrics to weaken further due to the additional dividend expense,” S&P credit analyst Gerald Hannochko said in the statement. “The dropdown into Enbridge Income Fund could raise the issue of subordination of debt at the Enbridge level.”