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Growth & Income

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. (TLP - Snapshot Report) continues to impress analysts. The company recently reported third quarter earnings per unit that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 29%. It was TransMontaigne's third consecutive positive surprise.

Since it is a Master Limited Partnership, the company distributes virtually all of its earnings to its limited partners. It currently yields a hefty 6.9%.

Third Quarter Results

Revenue grew by 5.9% year-over-year due to increases at the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Brownsville, and Southeast terminals. Meanwhile direct operating costs declined by 12.4%. This led to an impressive 44.9% increase in operating income.

Net earnings per limited partner unit increased 61.0% year-over-year to 66 cents. This beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 15 cents.

Income

The distribution declared per limited partner unit was 60 cents, up a penny from the same quarter last year. It currently yields 6.9% and has raised its distribution per limited partner unit at an average annual rate of 8.4% since 2005.

Its distribution yield is on the higher end when compared to other MLPs. Buckeye GP Holdings L.P. (BGH) sports a 4.0% yield, for instance. Holly Energy Partners L.P. (HEP) yields 6.5%, and DCP Midstream Partners L.P. (DPM) has a 7.1% yield.

Outlook

Analysts once again raised their estimates following another strong quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2010 $2.37, up from $2.24 prior to the company's latest earnings release. That equates to 19% growth over 2009. The 2011 estimate is currently $2.25, up from $2.19 before the release. It is 5% lower than 2010, however.

It is a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stock.

About TLP

TransMontaigne Partners operates terminals, storage, transportation and related services to customers in the energy sector, including those distributing and marketing light refined petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, heavy refined petroleum products, such as asphalt, crude oil, chemicals, fertilizers and other liquid products.

The partnership is based in Denver and has operations in the Gulf Coast, the Midwest, Brownsville, TX, along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and in the Southeast.

Read the August 27 article here.

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Todd Bunton is the Growth & Income Stock Strategist for Zacks.com.

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