Energy Transfer's Profitable Partnership

Like so many burnt-out fireworks, natural gas prices fell straight down to Earth after the July 4th holiday, declining nearly 40%.

While this brutal correction is sure to bite some of the producers in the bottom (line, that is), it's business as usual for less price-sensitive gas infrastructure plays like dividend titan Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP  ) . Energy Transfer Partners delivered second-quarter results that beat analyst expectations -- even after the company raised its full-year guidance just last month.

ETP reported a 55% increase in revenue over the prior-year period, to $2.65 billion; a 19% rise in EBITDA, to $292 million; and net earnings of $0.60 per limited partner unit. According to the release, every segment met or exceeded internal expectations. Passing the success on to unitholders, the company recently raised its quarterly dividend, now yielding more than 8%.

According to CFO Martin Salinas, ETP continues to benefit from "increasing demand for transportation capacity on our extensive network of pipelines out of the Barnett Shale and Bossier Sands."

Back in April, ETP completed a pipeline project in the Bossier Sands of East Texas, where Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC  ) is a player. In the Barnett Shale, where Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) and XTO Energy (NYSE: XTO  ) are active producers, ETP recently completed two more pipelines. Several pipeline projects are in the works, but the Mid-Continent Express -- a partnership with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP  ) -- could be the most significant.

With all this growth in the works, and no end in sight for natural gas demand, this Fool believes that profits could continue to flow steadily for Energy Transfer Partners.

Further Foolishness in the pipeline:

The "natural gas" tag within the Foolish universe of Motley Fool CAPS lists 55 companies. Join the CAPS community to discover which gas plays burn brightest. It's free and fun!

Fool contributor Christopher Barker captains yachts and writes about stocks. He can also be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He owns shares of Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, and XTO Energy. Chesapeake Energy is an Inside Value recommendation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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