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

According to Zacks, “Units of Buckeye Partners have outperformed its industry in the last one month. 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. Along with all the expansion plans on track, the partnership has a healthy backlog of projects and expects the same to contribute to the firm’s performance by 2019-2020. However, Rising debt expenses and gradual stability in energy prices are a matter of great concern for Buckeye Partners. The Buckeye Partners’ dependence on limited group of customers for bulk of its storage revenues could adversely impact the partnership’s performance. The rising interest rates will definitely increase the cost of completion of the projects and impact its cash flows and financial position.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on BPL. Goldman Sachs Group lowered Buckeye Partners from a neutral rating to a sell rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $34.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine raised Buckeye Partners from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, December 31st. SunTrust Banks raised Buckeye Partners from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 2nd. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Buckeye Partners in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. They set a neutral rating and a $35.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Buckeye Partners in a research note on Sunday, November 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $41.00.

BPL traded down $0.17 during trading on Thursday, hitting $31.75. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 750,320 shares, compared to its average volume of 873,177. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. Buckeye Partners has a twelve month low of $25.71 and a twelve month high of $57.19. The firm has a market cap of $4.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.56 and a beta of 1.04.

Buckeye Partners (NYSE:BPL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 2nd. The pipeline company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $909.55 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $921.74 million. Buckeye Partners had a positive return on equity of 8.98% and a negative net margin of 10.43%. The business’s revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.81 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Buckeye Partners will post 0.69 EPS for the current year.

In related news, SVP Todd J. Russo sold 6,800 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.25, for a total value of $219,300.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.48% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new position in Buckeye Partners during the 4th quarter worth $270,000. Diversified Trust Co grew its stake in Buckeye Partners by 3.9% during the 3rd quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 23,223 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $829,000 after purchasing an additional 871 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its position in shares of Buckeye Partners by 184.5% during the 3rd quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 645,914 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $23,066,000 after acquiring an additional 418,849 shares in the last quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors boosted its position in shares of Buckeye Partners by 642.7% during the 3rd quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 20,609 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $736,000 after acquiring an additional 17,834 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Resources Management Corp CT ADV acquired a new position in shares of Buckeye Partners during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,796,000. 75.90% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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