TC PipeLines (TCP - Free Report) witnessed unpleasant earnings in fourth-quarter 2019. The firm reported earnings of 95 cents a unit, down 10.4% from $1.06 cents in the year-ago quarter due to higher maintenance capital expenditures along with lower revenues resulting from the termination of the Bison contracts.
Also, quarterly transmission revenues of $104 million compared unfavorably with $220 million recorded in fourth-quarter 2018 amid lower rates of many of its pipelines induced by the 2018 FERC actions.
Distribution & Cash Flow
TC PipeLines announced fourth-quarter cash distribution of 65 cents per unit, in line with the year-ago figure. Notably, this marks the 83rd quarterly distribution by the partnership.
The partnership's distributable cash flow decreased to $76 million in the quarter under review from $95 million in the year-ago period due to higher system utilization resulting in increased maintenance and operating expenses.
In the reported quarter, TC PipeLines distributed $47 million in cash, flat with the year-ago period.
Pipeline Systems' Performance
Great Lakes: Earnings of $14 million generated from equity investment were in line with the prior-year quarter’s figure.
Northern Border Pipeline: Equity earnings totaled $19 million, in line with the prior-year level.
Iroquois: Equity earnings amounted to $12 million, above the prior-year figure of $11 million.
Operation and maintenance expenses were $20 million in the quarter, above the year-earlier period’s $19 million. General/administrative expenses totaled $2 million, unchanged from the year-ago number. Property taxes came in at $7 million, same as the year-ago level. Depreciation costs declined to $20 million from $24 million a year ago. Financial and other charges also decreased to $20 million from $22 million in the corresponding period of 2018.
As of Dec 31, TC PipeLines’ cash and cash equivalents summed $83 million. The partnership had a long-term debt of $1,880 million, representing a debt-to-capital ratio of 71.2%.
Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks
TC Pipelines sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Some other top-ranked players in the energy space are Contango Oil & Gas Company , Noble Energy Inc. (NBL - Free Report) and Earthstone Energy, Inc. (ESTE - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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