Energy Transfer Sees Big Insider Buy

07/25/2017 2:52 am EST

Focus: ENERGY

Stephen Biggar

Director, Product Strategy, Argus Research Corporation

Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (ETP) saw a significant purchase by CEO & Director Kelcy Warren (in the amount of 1 million shares), notes Stephen Biggar of Argus Research with partners with Vickers Stock Research in analyzing insider buying trends.

This stock was acquired at $20.33 per share and increased his holdings to 1,031,646 shares held directly. He also owns 27,535,127 shares indirectly.

Mr. Warren is chairman of LE GP, LLC, which is the general partner of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., and he holds an 81.2% membership interest in the General Partner.

ETP describes itself as one of the largest Master Limited Partnerships with one of the most-diversified portfolios of energy assets in the United States.

Its operations include more than 71,000 miles of natural gas, crude oil, natural gas liquids and refined products pipelines traversing 36 states with associated terminalling, storage and fractionation facilities.

On April 28, the company announced the completion of its acquisition of Sonoco Partners LLC. Mr. Warren is the CEO and chairman of the Partnership. He has more than 25 years of business experience in the energy industry.

Among the analysts who follow ETP, there are currently 19 BUY ratings, five HOLD ratings and no SELL ratings (according to Bloomberg); the average target price is nearly $29.

The company has been steadily increasing its quarterly partnership distribution since 2007 and is expected to next pay out $0.54 per share (to be declared on 7/27/17 with an ex-date of 8/4/17). ETP has paid out $1.055 per share thus far in 2017.

The company has an EV/EBITDA ratio of 9 compared to 12 in the year-ago period, which is below the five-year average of 13. The dividend payout ratio was 37.6 in 1Q17. That compares to a payout ratio of 25.1 in 1Q16.

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