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ONEOK Partners (OKS) Q1 Earnings Top but Revenues Lag

Oil and gas pipeline operator ONEOK Partners, L.P. OKS reported first-quarter 2016 earnings of 52 cents per unit, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 48 cents by 8.3%. Quarterly earnings also surged 147.6% year over year. The bottom-line improvement was driven by fee-based earnings growth due to contract restructuring in the natural gas gathering and processing segment, as well as volume growth at the natural gas pipeline segment backed by the completion of a natural gas compressor station at the Illinois-based Midwestern Gas Transmission plant.

Total Revenue

In the quarter under review, ONEOK Partners reported total revenue of $1,773.9 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,046 million by 13.3%. Quarterly revenues also dipped 1.7% year over year.

Operational Results

ONEOK Partners’ adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at $444.6 million, up 37.1%.

Cost of sales and fuel was $1,195.7 million, down 11% from $1,343.9 million a year ago.

The partnership reported operating income of $318.2 million, up 61.6%.

ONEOK Partners’ interest expenses were $92.6 million, up 14.7% from $80.7 million a year ago.

Segment Results

In the first quarter of 2016, the Natural Gas Liquids segment reported operating income of $216.5 million, up 48.6% from the prior-year level of $145.7 million, while that at the Natural Gas Pipelines segment surged 48.9% to $46.3 million from $31.1 million recorded a year ago. Natural Gas Gathering and Processing generated operating income of $55.5 million, up a massive 181.7% from $19.7 million in the prior-year period.

Financial Condition

As of Mar 31, 2016, ONEOK Partners had cash and cash equivalents of $9.9 million, up from $5.1 million as of Dec 31, 2015. Long-term debt (excluding current maturities) as of Mar 31, 2016 was $6,692.2 million, almost flat with $6,695.3 million as of Dec 31, 2015.

The partnership’s cash flow from operating activities was $266.3 million in the quarter, up substantially from $65.1 million in the year-ago period. Capital expenditure was $195.9 million, down 42.9% from $343 million in the prior-year period.

Distributable cash flow (“DCF”) was $347.6 million in the first quarter, compared with $217.2 million in the year-ago period.

Peer Releases

PBF Logistics LP PBFX reported first-quarter 2016 earnings of 53 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 44 cents by 20.5%.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP’s BWP first-quarter 2016 earnings of 40 cents beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 35 cents by 14.3%.

EnLink Midstream Partners, LP ENLK posted first-quarter 2016 earnings of 18 cents, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 11 cents by 63.6%.

Zacks Rank

ONEOK Partners currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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