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Plains All American's Focus on Upgrades, Competition Looms

On May 13, 2016, we issued an updated research report on the midstream service provider Plains All American Pipeline L.P. PAA. Plains All American Pipeline’s systematic capital investment to expand operations and strategic acquisitions will help to serve its customers more efficiently. However, rising competition in the pipeline space, increasing regulation and completion of ongoing expansion projects within time and budget are headwinds.

Plains All American Pipeline reported mixed results in first-quarter 2016, with its earnings per unit surpassing expectation but revenues missing the same. Reported revenues also plunged around 30.8% year over year due to lower contribution from the Transportation (4.3%) and Supply & Logistics (32.2%) segments. The decrease was partially offset by 3.1% year-over-year revenue growth at the Facilities segment.

Plains All American Pipeline has a systematic capital investment strategy to expand its operations through organic growth initiatives. It plans to invest nearly $1.5 billion in expansion programs this year. Plains All American Pipeline currently has a pipeline of new projects in resource-rich regions.

At the same time, this pipeline service provider is pursuing a divestment strategy. The proceeds from divestures will go a long way to focus on its core areas. The partnership anticipates divestment proceeds in the range of $500–$600 million for 2016 and has closed transactions worth $350 million year to date.

Many of the upstream players are currently entering the midstream business by forming MLPs and upgrading pipeline infrastructure. If this trend persists, midstream players will be up against tough competition as they generate revenues from exploration and production companies by providing transportation services.

The completion of ongoing projects, within time and budget, is key to the sustainment of the partnership’s performance over the long run. Uncertainties that could hinder timely completion would limit the benefits expected to be accrued from these projects.

Plains All Pipeline currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some bette-ranked stocks in the oil & gas pipeline space are PBF Logistics LP PBFX, Rose Rock Midstream, L.P. RRMS and TC PipeLines, LP TCP. PBF Logistics and Rose Rock Midstream sport a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy) while TC PipeLines carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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PLAINS ALL AMER (PAA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PBF LOGISTICS (PBFX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ROSE ROCK MIDST (RRMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TC PIPELINES (TCP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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