MarkWest Energy Partners LP
), a processor and distributor of natural gas, raised its
fourth-quarter 2013 cash distribution 1.2% sequentially and 4.9%
year over year to 86 cents per common unit ($3.44 per unit
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MarkWest Energy added that the new distribution will be paid on
Feb 14, 2014 to unitholders of record as of Feb 6, 2014.
The distribution hike reflects the partnership's continued strong
performance, backed by strong operating results, good investments
and a diligent execution of its strategic plan.
MarkWest Energy is planning to declare its fourth-quarter 2013
financial results on Feb 26, 2014, after the closing bell. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate for the partnership's fourth-quarter
stands at 24 cents per common unit.
Denver, Colorado-based MarkWest Energy, a master limited
partnership (MLP), is engaged in the gathering, processing and
transmission of natural gas, transportation, fractionation and
storage of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and
transportation of crude oil. The partnership is one of the
largest processors of natural gas in the Appalachian region and
has a significant presence in the other prolific natural gas
producing basins of the U.S., including the Anadarko, Arkoma,
East Texas, and Gulf Coast basins.
We like MarkWest Energy's high-quality and diverse portfolio of
midstream assets, which generate stable and recurring revenues
through long-term fee-based contracts.
However, acquisitions have historically played a major role in
the partnership's growth profile and are expected to remain
significant. MarkWest Energy may find it difficult to complete
accretive transactions in the future, which could negatively
impact its growth rate.
MarkWest Energy currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold),
implying that it is expected to perform in-line with the broader
U.S equity market over the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can look at better-ranked players in the energy
Swift Energy Co.
Athlon Energy Inc.
Pembina Pipeline Corporation
). All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).