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Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE - Snapshot Report) announced fourth-quarter 2013 earnings of 82 cents per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings of 27 cents.

On a GAAP basis, the partnership reported a loss of 31 cents. The difference was due to a one time charge related to goodwill impairment and loss on extinguishments of debt.

For 2013, the partnership’s earnings were $1.49 per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 65.5%.

Revenues

Revenues at the end of the fourth quarter were $12.6 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.4%. Reported revenues increased approximately 11.4% year over year.

For 2013, revenues reported came in at $48.3 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2% and up substantially 184.9% from the prior-year figure.

Highlights of the Release

In the quarter under review, Energy Transfer’s total costs and expenses increased 17.5% year over year to $12.8 billion. A rise in total expenses was primarily due to higher cost of sales and operating expenses.

Interest expenses of the partnership increased 7.7% year over year to $308.0 million in the quarter, primarily due to higher long-term debt level.

During the fourth quarter, the partnership launched a buyback program worth $1.0 billion of common units. Since the announcement, the partnership has repurchased 1.7 million ETE units.

Energy Transfer Equity announced an incremental quarterly cash distribution of 34.625 cents post two-for-one common unit split.

Financial Update

As of Dec 31, 2013, Energy Transfer Equity’s property plant & equipment was worth $30.7 billion versus $28.3 billion as of Dec 31, 2012.

Long-term debt, as of Dec 31, 2013, was $22.6 billion versus $21.4 billion as of Dec 31, 2012.

Energy Transfer increased its revolving credit capacity to $800 million for purchasing Regency’s common units worth $400 million.

Energy Transfer Equity’s adjusted distributable cash flow (“DCF”) for the quarter decreased 4.1% year over year to $185.0 million. For 2013, adjusted DCF was $719.0 million, up 7.6% from 2012.

Zacks Rank

Energy Transfer Equity currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other better-ranked stocks in the same industry include Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP - Snapshot Report), Kinder Morgan Management LLC (KMR - Snapshot Report) and Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP - Analyst Report). While Crestwood Equity currently holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Kinder Morgan and Magellan Midstream carry a Zacks Rank #2.

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