Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Enterprise Products Partners Keeps Its Growth Engine Humming Along

By Tyler Crowe – Aug 5, 2019 at 5:04PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Enterprise continued its quarterly tradition of posting record results and increased capital spending projections for the year.

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD 1.64%) continued its quarterly tradition of posting great results, identifying more investment opportunities, and increasing its payout to investors. In the second quarter, the company increased its distributable cash flow by 17% compared to the same time last year and shows no signs of letting up. Here's a brief look at Enterprise's results and what investors can expect for the rest of the year.

An oil and gas export facility.

Image source: Getty Images.

Enterprise Products Partners results: The raw numbers

Metric Q2 2019 Q1 2019 Q2 2018
Gross operating margin $2.08 billion $2.13 billion $1.48 billion
Net income $1.21 billion $1.26 billion $674 million
EPS (diluted) $0.55 $0.57 $0.31
Distributable cash flow $1.72 billion $1.63 billion $1.42 billion

Source: Enterprise Products Partners press release. EPS = earnings per share.

Enterprise has been investing so heavily in its business with new pipelines and processing facilities that it's becoming a quarterly tradition to set new operational records for product moving through its system. Adjusting for fair-value accounting standards for some commodity contracts, adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter was $2.1 billion. This result means that the company's leverage -- as measured by debt to EBITDA -- declined to 2.7 times. That's the lowest mark in more than a decade.

The company's distribution coverage also remained healthy with a coverage ratio of 1.8 times. That means it retained $753 million after distribution payments to reinvest in its ambitious growth plan.

EPD gross operating margin by business segment for Q2 2018, Q1 2019, and Q2 2019. Shows record results for three of its four segments.

Data source: Enterprise Products Partners.

What happened with Enterprise Products this quarter?

  • Enterprise Products yet again increased its capital spending guidance for the fiscal year. Management expects total capital spending for the year to be around $4.35 billion. It is a near certainty that this will increase over the next quarter or two, though, as it has almost every quarter in 2018 and 2019.
  • Management noted that it put another $900 million worth of new assets into operation in the quarter and expects to complete another $3.2 billion in projects under construction by the end of the year.
  • While new project announcements were scant in the second quarter, the company has announced several major projects since the end of the quarter, including expanding its export capacity in the Houston Ship Channel for liquid petroleum gas, polymer-grade propylene, and crude oil. It also announced it will further expand its crude oil pipeline capacity from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast and a 2-million-barrel-per-day deepwater loading facility with Chevron (CVX 5.61%) as its principal customer.
  • Enterprise also noted on the day of its earnings release that it sold a partial equity stake in its Shin Oak NGL pipeline to Altus Midstream (KNTK) for $441 million.
  • Management upped its distribution again, albeit modestly, and bought back about $33 million in shares as part of its $2 billion share repurchase authorization. One notable change is that the company will now purchase its own units on the open market instead of issuing new ones for its distribution reinvestment plan.

What management had to say

Enterprise Products' success in recent quarters has been atypical for the midstream business lately -- see the Alerian MLP index chart below. With many others struggling and selling for modest valuations, one analyst asked on the company's conference call if Enterprise was on the prowl for an acquisition. According to CFO Randy Fowler, that isn't the case, because it sees better opportunities working on its own system.

We continually get shown "M&A opportunities" and where we keep coming back is our organic growth projects that bolt-on on to our existing system give us better returns on capital and you know and I dare say when we come in and look at some of the M&A opportunities that are provided, the capital intensity to drive DCF [distributable cash flow] per unit growth is much less with organic growth projects than it is with M&A opportunities. So that continues to be our focus, we will continue to come in and look at opportunities, but really we're more focused on the growth capex or just develop it organically.

You can read a full transcript of Enterprise Product Partners' conference call here.

EPD Chart

EPD data by YCharts.

Looking forward

For all of the success Enterprise Products Partners has had over the past several years, the company still trades at a discount from where it was five years ago. Despite the disappointing share price performance, the business continues to get better and better, with a healthier balance sheet and increased growth opportunities. On top of that, Enterprise Products' distribution yields a healthy 5.9%, and its payout will likely keep growing for years to come.

Tyler Crowe owns shares of Enterprise Products Partners. The Motley Fool recommends Enterprise Products Partners. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. Stock Quote
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.
EPD
$24.17 (1.64%) $0.39
Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
CVX
$151.73 (5.61%) $8.06
Altus Midstream Company Stock Quote
Altus Midstream Company
KNTK

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
326%
 
S&P 500 Returns
102%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.