TC PipeLines LP
) announced better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2013 earnings.
Contributions from the recently acquired Gas Transmission
Northwest LLC (GTN) and Bison Pipeline LLC (Bison) were the
primary drivers of the outperformance. Strong contribution from
the other pipeline assets also aided the results.
The market reacted positively to the result as TC PipeLines
touched an intraday high of $48.00 per unit, before settling at
$47.86 on Feb 7, up 2.8% from the previous close.
The Calgary, Alberta-based master limited partnership (MLP)
reported fourth quarter earnings per unit (EPU) of 63 cents,
higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents and also
above the prior year quarter level of 56 cents.
For 2013, TC PipeLines reported per unit profits of $2.13, above
the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.09 but lower than the 2012
earnings of $2.51 per unit.
Distribution & Cash Flows
TC PipeLines announced fourth-quarter 2013 cash distribution of
81 cents per unit ($3.24 per unit annualized), up 3.9% from the
year-ago period and flat sequentially. The distribution will be
paid on Feb 14, 2014, to unitholders of record as of Jan 28.
The partnership's total cash flows during the reported quarter
increased 3.9% to $53.0 million from the year-ago period. The
increase came on the back of additional cash distributions from
TC PipeLines' extra 45% interest in GTN and Bison each, acquired
during the third quarter of 2013. However, results were partially
offset by reduced cash distribution from the Northern Border and
TC PipeLines distributed $52.0 million during the quarter, up
20.9% from the year-ago level, primarily driven by a rise in the
quarterly distribution. Hike in outstanding common unit following
the May 2013 equity offerings, also aided the results.
For 2013, TC Pipelines' total cash flow was $195.0 million, down
3.5% from the 2012 level of $202.0 million. The partnership
distributed $188.0 million against $169.0 million in 2012.
Pipeline Systems' Performance
The partnership's equity income from the Great Lakes decreased $1
million year over year to $3 million in the quarter. The decline
reflects the sale of Great Lakes capacity at reduced rates and
Northern Border Pipeline:
Equity income from the Northern Border Pipeline was $16.0
million, down 11.1% year over year due to reduced reservation
As of Dec 31, 2013, TC PipeLines had $120.0 million outstanding
on the $500.0 million revolver portion of its senior credit
facility. The partnership has long-term debt (including current
portion) of $1,578.0 million, representing a
debt-to-capitalization ratio of 46.9%.
The partnership currently holds a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong
Meanwhile, one can consider better-ranked players from the
same industry such as
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P.
NuStar Energy L.P.
Spectra Energy Partners, LP
). All the stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
ENERGY TRAN EQT (ETE): Free Stock Analysis
NUSTAR ENERGY (NS): Free Stock Analysis
SPECTRA EGY PTR (SEP): Free Stock Analysis
TC PIPELINES (TCP): Free Stock Analysis
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