Williams Partners LP reported second-quarter 2018 earnings of 44 cents per limited partner unit, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 40 cents. The partnership’s earnings also increased from the prior-year quarter’s earnings of 33 cents. The improvement was mainly driven by higher fee-based revenues and contributions from two Marcellus shale gathering systems.
Quarterly total revenues increased 8.7% year over year to $2,086 million from $1,919 billion. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,070 billion.
The midstream energy infrastructure provider’s distributable cash flow (DCF) attributable to partnership operations was $705 million, up from $698 million in the year-ago quarter. The partnership’s quarterly cash distribution was 62.9 cents.
Q2 Price Performance
Williams Partners’ units gained 17.9% during the quarter compared with the 15.9% increase of the industry.
Consolidated adjusted segment profit was $1,097 million, down 0.6% from the year-ago quarter’s level of $1,104 million.
Northeast G&P: The segment reported profits of $255 million compared with $248 million in second-quarter 2017. The improvement was primarily driven by higher-fee revenues from the Susquehanna Supply Hub and Ohio River Supply Hub. Additionally, the partnership's increase in ownership in two Marcellus shale gathering systems in first-quarter 2017 along with higher volumes gathered by those systems contributed to growth. However, the figure lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $259 million.
Atlantic-Gulf: Profits in the segment amounted to $456 million, down from $462 million in the year-ago quarter and lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $465 million. The downside was primarily due to lower volumes on the deepwater Discovery system's Hadrian fieldas well as rise in maintenance costs of pipeline systems.
West: Segmental profit was $389 million compared with $372 million a year ago. The figure lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $392 million.The improvement in NGL and marketing margins, which was supported by favorable pricing led to growth, offset by lower service revenues stemming from declining rates at the Northwest Pipeline, per 2017 rate settlement agreement
NGL & Petchem Services: The segment reported profits of $23 million, in the year-earlier quarter.
Following the sale of the Geismar olefins facility on Jul 6, 2017, this segment no longer included any operating assets as of Jul 7, 2017.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Williams Partners carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked players in the same sector are Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ - Free Report) , China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (SNP - Free Report) , also known as Sinopec, and Sunrun Inc (RUN - Free Report) . All these stocks flaunt a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Canadian Natural Resources, based in Calgary, Alberta, is an exploration and production (E&P) company. It pulled off an average positive earnings surprise of 4.7% in the last four quarters.
Sinopec is one of the largest petroleum and petrochemical companies in Asia. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 492.8% in the trailing four quarters.
Sunrun is engaged in offering solar services through various channels. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 16.3% in the last four quarters.
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