Midstream energy infrastructure provider Williams Partners LP (WPZ - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2017 earnings of 33 cents per limited partner unit, which failed to beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents. Higher pipeline maintenance cost and lower volume contribution from Barnett led to the miss.
However, the company had inured a loss of 5 cents per limited partner unit in the prior-year quarter. The improvement was mainly driven by higher fee-based revenues and contributions from two Marcellus shale gathering systems.
Quarterly total revenue increased 13% year over year to $1.92 billion from $1.7 billion. The top line, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.1 billion.
Williams Partners' distributable cash flow (DCF) attributable to partnership operations in the reported quarter was $698 million as against $737 million in the year-ago quarter. The partnership maintained the quarterly cash distribution at 60 cents per unit.
Q2 Price Performance
Williams Partners has lost 1.8% of its value during the quarter versus the 3.4% decline of its industry.
Consolidated adjusted segment profit was $1,104 million, up 4% from the year-ago level of $1,065 million.
Northeast G&P: The segment reported profits of $248 million as compared with $222 million in second-quarter 2016. Contributions from two Marcellus shale gathering systems, where the partnership has increased its stake, led to the improvement. Fee-based revenues also contributed significantly.
Atlantic-Gulf: The segment reported profits of $462 million, compared with $368 million in the year-ago quarter. Higher fee-based revenues on increased volumes from Transco expansion developments along with Gulfstar One attributed to the improvement. However, the rise in maintenance costs of pipeline systems partially negated the result.
West:Segmental profit was $372 million as compared with $424 million a year ago, thanks to the decrease in fee-based revenues from Barnett.
NGL & Petchem Services: The segment reported profits of $23 million, compared with $51 million in the year-earlier quarter.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Williams Partners carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked players in the energy sector are TransCanada Corporation (TRP - Free Report) , Range Resources Corporation (RRC - Free Report) and Pembina Pipeline Corporation (PBA - Free Report) . TransCanada and Range Resources sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Pembina Pipeline carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
TransCanada posted average positive earnings surprise of 4.06% over the last four quarters.
Range Resources’ 2017 earnings are projected to grow almost 116%.
Pembina Pipeline’s 2017 earnings are estimated to rise more than 90%.
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