Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD:US), the biggest U.S. pipeline partnership, said first-quarter profit rose as it transported and processed more natural gas liquids.
Net income rose to $656 million, or 73 cents a unit, from $435 million, or 49 cents, a year earlier, the Houston-based company said in a statement on Business Wire today. Excluding an income tax benefit and other one-time items, per-share profit beat the 57-cent average of 15 analysts’ estimate (EPD:US) compiled by Bloomberg.
Production of natural gas liquids, or NGL, including propane and butane, has grown as exploration companies seek more profitable products while gas prices are at 10-year lows.
“In many plays, NGL is the ‘good roommate’ - paying the rent so gas can live for free, generating little return while eating Doritos and watching ‘Price is Right,’” Brad Olsen, an analyst for Houston-based Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., wrote in an April 27 note to clients.
Enterprise owns 50,200 miles (80,800 kilometers) of pipelines. About 40 percent of Enterprise’s revenue (EPD:US) and 57 percent of its profit last year came from transporting and processing gas liquids, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The earnings were released before the start of regular trading on U.S. markets. Enterprise rose 0.2 percent to $51.69 in New York yesterday.
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