TC Pipelines (NYSE:TCP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “TC PipeLines' large-scale value-creating projects position it for strong returns even in a low commodity price environment. As it is, TC PipeLines boasts of a stable, recurring and low-risk earnings and cash flow model, while TC PipeLines’ long history of stable cash distributions has delivered value to its investors. Moreover, the partnership’s agreement to purchase interests in the Iroquois Gas Transmission System is likely to strengthen its cash flow and earnings further. However, the partnership's large exposure to the weak natural gas prices along with unfavourable tax overhaul could weigh on the stock. More elevated leverage of over 66% restricts the financial flexibility of the firm. As such, units of the partnership have declined 40% over a year, as against the industry’s loss of just 0.3%. The interplay of these factors form the basis of our cautious stance on the stock.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on TCP. Citigroup increased their price target on TC Pipelines from $27.50 to $33.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. Barclays increased their price target on TC Pipelines from $26.00 to $32.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have given a hold rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.00.

NYSE:TCP traded down $0.92 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $30.36. 7,551 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 274,733. The company has a market capitalization of $2.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.62 and a beta of 1.25. TC Pipelines has a 1-year low of $22.64 and a 1-year high of $57.08. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.97, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 1.23.

TC Pipelines (NYSE:TCP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 2nd. The pipeline company reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.19. The business had revenue of $111.00 million for the quarter. TC Pipelines had a return on equity of 26.67% and a net margin of 66.44%. sell-side analysts anticipate that TC Pipelines will post 3.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of TCP. Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its stake in shares of TC Pipelines by 10.1% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 51,055 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,771,000 after acquiring an additional 4,694 shares during the last quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of TC Pipelines by 3.1% in the 1st quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP now owns 2,808,077 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $97,398,000 after acquiring an additional 85,460 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of TC Pipelines by 17.3% in the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 115,339 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $4,001,000 after acquiring an additional 17,047 shares during the last quarter. Citigroup Inc. lifted its stake in shares of TC Pipelines by 60.0% in the 1st quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 52,087 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $1,807,000 after acquiring an additional 19,533 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA lifted its stake in shares of TC Pipelines by 46.7% in the 1st quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 23,043 shares of the pipeline company’s stock valued at $799,000 after acquiring an additional 7,333 shares during the last quarter. 60.01% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About TC Pipelines

TC PipeLines, LP acquires, owns, and participates in the management of energy infrastructure businesses in North America. The company has interests in eight natural gas interstate pipeline systems that transport approximately 10.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from producing regions and import facilities to market hubs and consuming markets primarily in the Western, Midwestern, and Eastern United States.

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