Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Energy Transfer Partners is well poised to grow on the back of its geographically dispersed asset mix. Major projects including Rover, Bakken and Permian Express 3 Pipelines are expected to further strengthen the growth momentum of the partnership in the future. ETP’s M&A deals with Sunoco and Penn Tex has boosted the growth and value of the partnership leading to various synergies. Energy Transfer Partners' growing distribution coverage ratio further boosts investors' confidence in the stock. The partnership's ecent announcement to merge with its general partner also bodes well. However, high debt, escalating expenses and oppositions which ETP's Mariner East and Bayou Bridge Pipelines are facing from the environmentalists still remain major headwinds. The interplay of these factors forms the basis of our cautious stance on the stock.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on ETP. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Energy Transfer Partners from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $27.00 price target (up from $22.00) on shares of Energy Transfer Partners in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Energy Transfer Partners from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $27.00 price target (up from $24.00) on shares of Energy Transfer Partners in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Energy Transfer Partners from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $24.89.

ETP stock opened at $21.47 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $25.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.91, a P/E/G ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 1.28. Energy Transfer Partners has a fifty-two week low of $15.06 and a fifty-two week high of $24.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.80.

Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The pipeline company reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.17 by ($0.12). The company had revenue of $9.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $8.52 billion. Energy Transfer Partners had a return on equity of 8.00% and a net margin of 8.24%. On average, analysts anticipate that Energy Transfer Partners will post 0.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Thomas E. Long acquired 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 14th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $22.33 per share, for a total transaction of $223,300.00. Following the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 174,625 shares in the company, valued at $3,899,376.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kelcy L. Warren acquired 1,633,554 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 10th. The shares were bought at an average price of $22.50 per share, for a total transaction of $36,754,965.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders acquired 2,010,000 shares of company stock worth $45,080,386. 0.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Alps Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in Energy Transfer Partners by 18.8% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 59,550,445 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $1,067,144,000 after buying an additional 9,440,341 shares during the period. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. raised its holdings in Energy Transfer Partners by 6.2% during the 2nd quarter. Tortoise Capital Advisors L.L.C. now owns 41,992,731 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $799,542,000 after buying an additional 2,468,036 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS acquired a new stake in Energy Transfer Partners during the 2nd quarter worth about $240,750,000. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Energy Transfer Partners by 22.3% during the 3rd quarter. Chickasaw Capital Management LLC now owns 11,858,623 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $263,973,000 after buying an additional 2,160,044 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its holdings in Energy Transfer Partners by 32.4% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 9,960,264 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $221,716,000 after buying an additional 2,435,931 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.41% of the company’s stock.

Energy Transfer Partners Company Profile

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. The company's Intrastate Transportation and Storage segment transports natural gas from various natural gas producing areas through connections with other pipeline systems, as well as through its ET Fuel System and HPL System.

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