Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners LP on Feb. 3 missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit, hurt by an uneven global demand for energy products due to a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and higher costs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ended a boom in U.S. shale production, forcing pipeline companies that run oil from fields to processing centers and onto refineries and export terminals to slash fees to ensure customers keep using their networks.
Enterprise, which operates natural gas and crude oil pipelines, among other energy infrastructure, said total expenses in the fourth quarter jumped 14% quarter-on-quarter.
Although the company said it was encouraged by early signs of a rebound in the global economy, and had seen strong domestic and international demand for NGL, ethylene and propylene and also a recovery in demand for refined products.
Pearce Hammond of Simmons Energy noted that Enterprise fully covered its total capex and distributions within cash flow and that its 2020 growth capex of $3 billion was slightly higher than its previous guidance of $2.9 billion.
“Overall, good results,” Hammond wrote in a report.
The Houston-based firm said it currently expects sustaining capital expenditures for 2021 to be about $440 million.
On a sequential basis, Enterprise reported a 66% slump in fourth-quarter profit, hit by an impairment charge of $800 million on some aging assets.
On an adjusted basis, the company posted a profit of 15 cents per unit, missing average market estimate of 50 cents, according to Refinitiv IBES.
The pipeline operator’s shares fell 2% in premarket trading to $20.66.
Hart Energy contributed to this report.
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