Buckeye Partners (BPL) Lifted to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $33.00 price target on the pipeline company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 6.62% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Buckeye Partners’ earnings per unit and revenues in the fourth quarter surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate. Buckeye Partners 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 sell non-core assets and focus on high-return domestic assets will boost the performance of the partnership. In the past six months, units of Buckeye Partners have outperformed its industry. However, Buckeye Partners’ dependence on limited group of customers for bulk of its storage revenues could adversely impact the partnership’s performance. Increasing competition, stringent regulations and rising challenges for segregated storage may largely impact its cash flows and financial position.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group lowered their price objective on shares of Buckeye Partners from $34.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Buckeye Partners and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 20th. SunTrust Banks upgraded shares of Buckeye Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 target price on shares of Buckeye Partners in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Buckeye Partners from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Buckeye Partners presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.53.

BPL opened at $30.95 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. The stock has a market cap of $4.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.29 and a beta of 1.08. Buckeye Partners has a 52-week low of $25.71 and a 52-week high of $51.95.

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) last posted its earnings results on Friday, February 8th. The pipeline company reported $0.90 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.21. The business had revenue of $1.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $958.86 million. Buckeye Partners had a negative net margin of 1.44% and a positive return on equity of 9.41%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.85 EPS. As a group, analysts expect that Buckeye Partners will post 2.61 EPS for the current year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BPL. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC bought a new stake in shares of Buckeye Partners in the fourth quarter valued at about $36,000. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Buckeye Partners in the fourth quarter valued at about $122,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Buckeye Partners by 3,747.9% in the second quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 167,229 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $142,000 after acquiring an additional 162,883 shares in the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new stake in shares of Buckeye Partners in the third quarter valued at about $143,000. Finally, Girard Partners LTD. bought a new stake in shares of Buckeye Partners in the third quarter valued at about $163,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.89% 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; refined petroleum products; and crude oil.

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