Buckeye Partners (BPL) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “In the past 12 months, units of Buckeye Partners have outperformed its industry. Buckeye Partners reported mixed results in the first quarter, with earnings missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues beating the same. The firm has an attractive portfolio of refined petroleum-product transportation and storage assets in the key geographical markets. Its organic capital growth projects will drive the performance in the domestic as well as in the international arenas. The decision to divest non-core assets and focus on high-return domestic assets will boost the performance of the partnership. However, rising competition in the pipeline and terminalling business, softness in segmental performance, stringent regulations, as well as rising challenges for segregated storage may largely impact its cash flows and financial position.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine cut shares of Buckeye Partners from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Barclays raised shares of Buckeye Partners from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 16th. UBS Group cut shares of Buckeye Partners from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $33.25 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Buckeye Partners in a research note on Monday, March 11th. They set a neutral rating and a $36.00 price target for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus cut shares of Buckeye Partners from a buy rating to a hold rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $34.00 to $41.50 in a research note on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $39.79.

Shares of NYSE:BPL traded down $0.79 on Tuesday, reaching $40.97. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 34,595 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,504,040. Buckeye Partners has a 52-week low of $25.71 and a 52-week high of $42.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.89 and a beta of 1.09. The company has a quick ratio of 0.28, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90.

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, May 10th. The pipeline company reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.59 by ($0.07). Buckeye Partners had a positive return on equity of 9.46% and a negative net margin of 2.29%. The firm had revenue of $1.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.13 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. Buckeye Partners’s revenue for the quarter was down 13.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Buckeye Partners will post 2.43 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 28th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.75 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 7.32%. Buckeye Partners’s payout ratio is 167.60%.

In related news, VP Gary L. Bohnsack sold 2,500 shares of Buckeye Partners stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.73, for a total transaction of $104,325.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 422 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,610.06. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.54% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its holdings in Buckeye Partners by 6.5% during the 1st quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 15,054,028 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $512,138,000 after buying an additional 922,274 shares in the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Buckeye Partners by 12.6% during the 4th quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 14,531,387 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $421,265,000 after buying an additional 1,626,804 shares in the last quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Buckeye Partners by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC now owns 5,936,463 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $201,958,000 after buying an additional 21,103 shares in the last quarter. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Buckeye Partners by 97.4% during the 4th quarter. Harvest Fund Advisors LLC now owns 5,572,816 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $161,556,000 after buying an additional 2,749,735 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in Buckeye Partners by 97.9% during the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 2,145,556 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $62,199,000 after buying an additional 1,061,307 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 69.33% of the company’s stock.

About Buckeye Partners

Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates liquid petroleum products pipelines in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Domestic Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals, and Merchant Services. The Domestic Pipelines & Terminals segment transports liquid petroleum products, including gasoline, jet fuel, and various distillates.

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