Access Midstream Partners, L.P. announced fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of 47 cents per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.3%. Quarterly earnings jumped substantially from the prior-year figure of 11 cents per unit, primarily on the back of higher revenues.
For 2013, the partnership’s earnings were $1.01 per unit, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 30.3%. Annual earnings were 9% lower than $1.11 per unit a year ago.
Revenues at the end of the fourth quarter were $0.33 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.9%. Reported revenues increased approximately 120% year over year mainly due to the addition of revenues related to the minimum volume commitments.
Revenues reported for 2013 were $1.1 billion, up around 76.4% from the year-ago figure.
In the quarter under review, Access Midstream Partners’ total operating expenses increased 56.8% year over year to $201.5 million. A rise in total operating expenses was primarily due to higher operating expenses, depreciation and amortization expenses, and general and administrative expenses.
However, quarterly operating income increased more than 500% to $126.5 million from the year-ago figure of $19.8 million.
Interest expenses of the partnership increased 86.2% year over year to $33.4 million in the quarter, primarily due to higher long-term debt level.
In fourth-quarter 2013, Access Midstream Partners’ natural gas throughput was 3.79 billion cubic feet per day (“bcf/d”). A 31.1% rise from the prior-year level was primarily due to throughput from the Eagle Ford properties and well connection in the Marcellus Shale.
The partnership’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (“EBITDA”) increased 102.2% year over year to $240.6 million.
As of Dec 31, 2013, Access Midstream Partners had cash balance of $17.2 million versus $65 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debt, as of Dec 31, 2013, was $3,249.2 million versus $2,500 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Net cash provided by operating activities in 2013 was $564 million versus $318.1 million in the year-ago period.
For 2013, the partnership’s net capital expenditure increased around 114% to $1,578.4 million from $734.9 million in the year-ago comparable period.
Access Midstream Partners’ distributable cash flow (“DCF”) increased 86.7% year over year to $635.1 million.
Cash Distribution Update
On Feb 14, 2014, Access Midstream Partners paid incremental quarterly cash distribution of 55.5 cents per unit to unitholders of record as of Feb 7, as announced on Jan 24. On this occasion, quarterly cash distribution rate increased 3.7% sequentially and 23.3% year over year.
Access Midstream Partners plans to invest $1.1 - $1.2 billion as growth capital expenditures for 2014. A $0.1 billion rise in expenditures from the previous estimate was primarily due to the construction activities in 2013, which moved forward to 2014.
For 2014, the partnership increased its projected maintenance capital expenditures from the previous expectation by 18.2% to $0.13 billion. The expense is expected to increase as a result of yearly assessment of long-term capital requirements.
At the Peer
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (PAA - Analyst Report) announced fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of 74 cents per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 61 cents by 21.3%.
Access Midstream Partners currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP - Snapshot Report) and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE - Snapshot Report). While Crestwood Equity Partners holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Energy Transfer Equity carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).