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MPLX LP (MPLX) Down 8.9% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for MPLX LP (MPLX - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 8.9% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is MPLX LP due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

MPLX Beats Q2 Earnings Estimates on Higher Pipeline Tariff

MPLXreported second-quarter adjusted earnings of 58 cents per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents. The bottom line also improved from the year-ago profit of 55 cents per share.

Revenues of $2,081 million increased from second-quarter 2019 sales of $1,629 million. Also, the top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,954 million.

Earnings were backed by average tariff rates from product and crude oil pipelines. Contributions from gathering and processing business also aided the outperformance.

Segmental Highlights

MPLX’s adjusted EBITDA from the Logistics and Storage segment increased from $570 million a year ago to $839 million. The year-over-year upside is attributable to higher average tariff rates from product and crude oil pipelines, partially offset by lower terminal throughput.

Adjusted EBITDA from the Gathering and Processing segment was recorded at $388 million, up from $350 million in the prior-year quarter. The outperformance was driven by higher C2 and NGLs fractionated volumes, partially negated by lower gathering throughput.

Costs and Expenses

Total costs and expenses in the quarter were recorded at $1,203 million, down from the year-ago level of $1,325 million. Also, expenses related to operations declined to $435 million from $548 million.

Cash Flow

Distributable cash flow available to limited partners in second-quarter 2020 was $1,027 million, providing 1.39X distribution coverage, up from $1,007 million in the year-ago quarter. Distribution per unit was 68.75 cents in the reported quarter, representing an increase of 3% from the year-ago quarter.

Net cash flow from operating activities in the quarter under review increased to $1,105 million from $1,101 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2019.

Balance Sheet

As of Jun 30, 2020, the partnership’s cash and cash equivalents were $67 million. Its total long-term debt amounted to $20.6 billion, while debt-to-capitalization ratio was 0.61.

Outlook

The partnership is on track to lower capital budget for 2020 by more than $700 million. It also plans to reduce 2020 operating expenses by roughly $200 million. MPLX continues to expect positive free cashflows in 2021 after capital expenditure and distribution payments.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 6.73% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, MPLX LP has a nice Growth Score of B, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with an A. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of B on the value side, putting it in the second quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, MPLX LP has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.


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