Buckeye Partners (BPL) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, December 19th.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, the partnership units have underperformed the industry.  Adverse weather conditions adversely impacted operations of the partnership. Intensifying competition and stringent government regulations are persistent headwinds for Buckeye Partners. The partnership depends on its operating subsidiaries to service debt obligations and pay cash distributions to its unitholders. Rising debt expenses are a matter of great concern for the partnership. Buckeye Partners has an attractive portfolio of refined petroleum-product transportation and storage assets in key geographical markets. Strategic VTTI acquisitions and organic growth projects will drive the partnership’s performance in the domestic as well as international arena.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on BPL. Barclays decreased their price objective on Buckeye Partners from $64.00 to $60.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 6th. SunTrust Banks set a $58.00 price objective on Buckeye Partners and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on Buckeye Partners from $67.00 to $56.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Buckeye Partners in a report on Sunday, November 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of Buckeye Partners in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.91.

Shares of Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) traded up $1.03 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $53.51. 883,100 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 859,818. The stock has a market cap of $7,850.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.41 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.10 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. Buckeye Partners has a 52-week low of $43.90 and a 52-week high of $73.01.

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, November 3rd. The pipeline company reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $922.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $795.12 million. Buckeye Partners had a return on equity of 9.72% and a net margin of 12.69%. Buckeye Partners’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.19 EPS. analysts anticipate that Buckeye Partners will post 3.37 EPS for the current year.

In other news, SVP Joseph Sauger sold 5,481 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.04, for a total transaction of $257,826.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Buckeye Partners by 11.7% during the third quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 11,461,563 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $653,309,000 after purchasing an additional 1,204,235 shares during the last quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. lifted its stake in Buckeye Partners by 1.9% during the third quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 10,837,570 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $617,741,000 after purchasing an additional 203,880 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lifted its stake in Buckeye Partners by 2.2% in the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 5,146,972 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $329,046,000 after buying an additional 113,242 shares during the last quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Buckeye Partners by 14.7% in the fourth quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC now owns 3,583,695 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $177,572,000 after buying an additional 459,586 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Center Coast Capital Advisors LP lifted its stake in Buckeye Partners by 13.5% in the third quarter. Center Coast Capital Advisors LP now owns 3,478,788 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $198,291,000 after buying an additional 414,445 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.88% of the company’s stock.

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Buckeye Partners Company Profile

Buckeye Partners, L.P. (Buckeye) owns and operates a network of integrated assets providing midstream logistic solutions, primarily consisting of the transportation, storage, processing and marketing of liquid petroleum products. Its segments include Domestic Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals and Merchant Services.

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