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Magellan Midstream posts record Q1 results

Operating profit jumps 93 percent compared to the same period last year.



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Updated on 07 May 2014 09:08 GMT

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. reported record quarterly operating profit of $275.1 million for first quarter 2014, an increase of $132.6 million, or 93%, compared to $142.5 million for first quarter 2013.

Net income more than doubled to a quarterly record of $242.6 million for first quarter 2014 compared to $113.0 million for first quarter 2013, and diluted net income per limited partner unit increased to a record $1.07 in first quarter 2014 versus 50 cents in the corresponding 2013 period. Diluted net income per unit excluding mark-to-market (MTM) commodity-related pricing adjustments, a non-generally accepted accounting principles (non-GAAP) financial measure, of $1.07 for first quarter 2014 was higher than the 70-cent guidance provided by management in Feb. 2014 primarily due to stronger-than-expected refined products and crude oil transportation volumes and rates, more favorable product overages and the sale of additional volumes from the partnership's butane blending activities.

Distributable cash flow (DCF), a non-GAAP financial measure that represents the amount of cash generated during the period that is available to pay distributions, increased to a quarterly record of $253.2 million for first quarter 2014, more than double the first-quarter 2013 DCF of $123.9 million.

"Magellan kicked off 2014 with exceptional strength, generating record quarterly financial results due to strong performance from all aspects of our business, including fee-based transportation and terminal assets and commodity-related activities," said Michael Mears, chief executive officer. "Further, we continue to build the framework for Magellan's future growth, achieving significant progress on crude oil projects currently under construction and launching new projects for critical energy infrastructure that will sustain our growth trajectory."

An analysis by segment comparing first quarter 2014 to first quarter 2013 is provided below based on operating margin, a non-GAAP financial measure that reflects operating profit before general and administrative (G&A) expense and depreciation and amortization:

Refined products. Refined operating margin was $255.0 million, an increase of $94.8 million and a quarterly record for this segment. Transportation and terminals revenue increased $44.9 million between periods due to higher shipment volumes and average tariffs. Shipments grew primarily as a result of strong demand for gasoline and distillates in the markets served by the partnership, in part due to the seasonal reversal of a portion of the partnership's Oklahoma system to deliver refined products south into Texas, start-up of Magellan's recently-constructed pipeline from the partnership's El Paso, Texas terminal to a new locomotive fueling facility in New Mexico and shipments through a new connection to a third-party pipeline for further distribution to other markets. Higher tariff rates were mainly driven by the partnership's 4.6% tariff increase in mid-2013 and longer-haul movements to meet increased demand. Revenues also benefited from operating results from a New Mexico pipeline system acquired in July 2013 and a Rocky Mountain pipeline system acquired in Nov. 2013.

Operating expenses increased between periods primarily due to expenses related to the recently-acquired New Mexico and Rocky Mountain pipeline systems. Increased property taxes, power expenses and personnel costs on the partnership's legacy pipeline system were primarily offset by more favorable product overages (which reduce operating expenses).

Product margin (a non-GAAP measure defined as product sales revenue less cost of product sales) increased $54.8 million between periods primarily due to improved profitability of the partnership's butane blending activities as a result of significantly lower butane costs in the current period and higher sales volumes. The increased volume was attributable to selling additional blended product carried over from the partnership's fourth-quarter 2013 blending activities as well as more blending opportunities during first quarter 2014 in part due to higher gasoline demand.

Crude oil. Crude operating margin was $63.3 million, an increase of $40.6 million. Transportation and terminals revenue increased $44.7 million primarily due to crude oil shipments on the Longhorn pipeline, which began operation during second quarter 2013, and higher pipeline volume on the partnership's Houston crude oil distribution system. Operating expenses increased between periods as costs related to operation of the Longhorn pipeline in crude oil service, including higher personnel costs, power and integrity spending, were partially offset by more favorable product overages (which reduce operating expenses).

Marine storage. Marine operating margin was $28.4 million, an increase of $3.1 million. Revenue increased between periods primarily due to storage fees from newly-constructed tanks placed into service at the partnership's Galena Park terminal over the last year, and expenses declined slightly due to less spending for maintenance projects during the current period. Product margin increased due to timing of product sales.

Other items. Depreciation and amortization increased primarily due to recent expansion capital expenditures, and G&A expenses increased due to more personnel costs as a result of additional headcount and higher accruals for the partnership's annual bonus and equity-based incentive compensation programs as a result of higher payout expectations and an increasing unit price.

Net interest expense increased primarily due to borrowings from the partnership's recent debt offerings to fund capital spending. As of March 31, 2014, the partnership had $2.9 billion of debt outstanding and $196.6 million of cash on hand.

Expansion capital projects

Magellan continues to make significant progress on its expansion opportunities and recently announced plans to construct a fee-based condensate splitter at its Corpus Christi, Texas terminal and to deliver refined products to Little Rock, Arkansas by extending the reach of the partnership's pipeline system from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to the Little Rock market.

The Longhorn pipeline continues to increase crude oil volume and averaged approximately 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) during the first quarter of 2014. Magellan has received regulatory approval to increase the capacity of the pipeline to 275,000 bpd and expects to average approximately 240,000 bpd during the second quarter of 2014 and 250,000 bpd during the second half of 2014.

The partnership continues to make significant progress on tank and pipeline construction for the BridgeTex pipeline joint venture. Initial linefill is expected to occur during late second quarter, with pipeline movements expected to begin mid-third quarter to deliver crude oil from the Permian Basin to the Houston Gulf Coast area.

Based on the progress of expansion projects already underway, the partnership currently plans to spend approximately $700 million in 2014 with additional spending of $325 million in 2015 and $75 million in 2016 to complete its current slate of construction projects.

In addition, Magellan continues to evaluate well in excess of $500 million of potential growth projects in earlier stages of development as well as possible acquisitions, both of which have been excluded from the partnership's spending estimates.

Financial guidance for 2014

Management is raising its 2014 DCF guidance by $80 million to $810 million primarily as a result of strong financial results to date and remains committed to its goal of increasing annual cash distributions by 20% for 2014 and 15% for 2015. For DCF purposes, BridgeTex is expected to have minimal impact to 2014 results due to the timing of the pipeline's start-up and the timing of cash distribution payments from the joint venture to Magellan, which will be paid in arrears on a quarterly basis.

Including actual results so far this year, net income per limited partner unit is estimated to be $3.25 for 2014, with second-quarter guidance of 72 cents. Guidance excludes future MTM adjustments on the partnership's commodity-related activities.

Source: Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P






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