Energy infrastructure giant Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per limited partner unit of 30 cents, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 33 cents. The bottom line, however, improved from the year-ago quarter earnings of 27 cents per limited partner unit.
Quarterly revenues increased to $6,608 million from $5,618 million in the year-ago quarter. The top line, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6,712 million.
The year-over-year upside was attributed to increase in volumes from all four segments of the master limited partnership (NGL Pipeline & Services, Natural Gas Pipeline and Services, Crude Oil Pipelines & Services and Petrochemical & Refined Product Services) during struggling oil prices, which was partially offset by increased costs and expenses.
Quarterly distribution at Enterprise Products Partners increased 5% year over year to 42 cents per common unit. Adjusted distributable cash flow of $1.1 billion provided coverage of 1.2x. The partnership retained $145 million in cash flow, gaining the financial flexibility to fund growth capital projects, reduce debt and decrease the need to issue additional equity. The partnership managed to generate strong levels of cash flows and rewarded its unitholders with growing distribution amid a tough business environment.
Second-Quarter Segmental Performance
The operating income from the different segments increased primarily due to increased volumes.
Gross operating income in the NGL Pipeline & Services segment rose to $759.9 million from $719.1 million in the year-ago quarter due to contractual increases in committed volumes. Improved contribution from Mont Belvieu NGL and associated product storage business supported the segment.
Natural Gas Pipeline and Services segment recorded gross operating income of $194.4 million compared with $177.4 million in the prior-year quarter as the gathering system in the Permian Basin transported more volumes than the previous year comparable quarter.
Gross operating income from the Crude Oil Pipelines & Services segment surged 33.4% year over year to $236.7 million due to the rise in production from the Permian Basin.
Gross operating income from the Petrochemical & Refined Product Services segment grew to $188.4 million from the year-earlier level of $175.5 million owing to the lower operating costs.
Cost and Expenses
During the second quarter of 2017, the partnership’s total cost and expenses surged 19% to $5,775.9 million due to an 18.8% increase in operating costs and 30.2% increase in general and administrative expenses.
Outstanding total debt principal as of Jun 30, 2017 was $23.6 billion. Enterprise Products Partners had consolidated liquidity of $4.1 billion, which comprised unrestricted cash on hand and available borrowing capacity. The partnership reported total capital spending of $869 million in this quarter.
Enterprise Products expects growth projects worth $2.8-$3 billion to come online in the second half of the year, which will increase the estimates for the coming quarters (which may lead to an increase in expectations for the coming quarters). The partnership is developing a petrochemical plant at Mont Belvieu, TX with annual production capacity of 750,000 tons of polymer-grade propylene.
Units of Enterprise Products have lost 1.8% year to date, significantly outperforming the industry’s 10.6% fall.
Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider
The partnership currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and energy sector include Braskem S.A. (BAK - Free Report) , TransCanada Corp. (TRP - Free Report) and Global Partners LP (GLP - Free Report) . These sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Braskem’s sales for 2017 are expected to increase 11% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 107.8% in the last four quarters.
TransCanada’s sales for the year 2017 are expected to increase 0.3% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 4.1% in the last four quarters.
Global Partners’ sales for 2017 are expected to increase 10.2% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 415.3% in the last four quarters.
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