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Press release from PR Newswire

Spectra Energy Partners Reports Year End and Fourth Quarter 2011 Results; Announces 2012 Financial Outlook

Friday, February 03, 2012

Spectra Energy Partners Reports Year End and Fourth Quarter 2011 Results; Announces 2012 Financial Outlook08:15 EST Friday, February 03, 2012HOUSTON, Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 2011 cash available for distribution up 22 percent over prior year2011 distributions per unit of $1.87, up 7.5 percent over 20102012 outlook for cash available for distribution -- $222 millionSpectra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: SEP) today reported fourth quarter 2011 net income of $42.0 million, compared with $37.2 million in the prior year quarter. For the year, net income was up almost $25 million over 2010 with net income reported at $172.0 million, compared with $147.9 million in 2010. Cash available for distribution was $38.0 million for the quarter, compared with $35.0 million in the prior year quarter. For the year, cash available for distribution was $212.4 million, up 22 percent from $174.5 million in 2010. Distributions per limited partner unit for 2011 were $1.87, compared with $1.74 per limited partner unit for 2010, up 7.5 percent. The increase in net income and cash available for distribution reflects the acquisitions of an additional 24.5 percent interest in Gulfstream on November 30, 2010 and the Big Sandy Pipeline on July 1, 2011.  The results also include East Tennessee's Northeastern Tennessee (NET) project coming online September 1, 2011. These increases were partially offset by lower revenues at Ozark."I'm pleased to report that 2011 was another solid year for Spectra Energy Partners," said Julie Dill, president and chief executive officer.  "With the acquisition of Big Sandy Pipeline, organic growth projects placed into service, achievement of investment grade ratings, and our seventeenth consecutive quarterly distribution increase, SEP continued its record of delivering value to its unitholders.""As we enter 2012, Spectra Energy Partners will continue its focus as a growth-oriented MLP," Dill continued. "We'll continue to execute a consistent, balanced growth strategy, where strategic acquisitions and organic growth are priorities."  Results from OperationsSpectra Energy Partners reported operating income of $24.6 million for the fourth quarter 2011, compared with $18.5 million in the prior year quarter.  Earnings from the Big Sandy acquisition and the East Tennessee NET expansion were partially offset by lower revenues at Ozark.Equity Investment in Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C. (Gulfstream)Spectra Energy Partners recognized $16.3 million of equity earnings from its 49 percent interest in Gulfstream in the fourth quarter 2011, compared with $11.8 million in the prior year quarter. Equity earnings from Gulfstream for 2011 totaled $64.7 million compared with $35.5 million for 2010. The growth for the quarter and year reflects SEP's increased ownership interest in Gulfstream.For the fourth quarter 2011, Spectra Energy Partners' share of Gulfstream's cash available for distribution was $11.4 million, compared to $8.7 million in the same period of 2010.  Spectra Energy Partners' share of Gulfstream's cash available for distribution was $81.0 million for the full year 2011, compared with $43.0 million for 2010.Equity Investment in Market Hub Partners (MHP)Spectra Energy Partners recognized $9.1 million of equity earnings from its 50 percent interest in MHP during the fourth quarter 2011. MHP delivered steady results for the quarter when compared with the prior year quarter.  Equity earnings from MHP for 2011 totaled $42.6 million, compared with $39.6 million in 2010.For the quarter, Spectra Energy Partners' share of MHP's cash available for distribution was $9.5 million, compared to $10.9 million in the fourth quarter 2010. Spectra Energy Partners' share of MHP's cash available for distribution was $46.0 million for the full year 2011, compared with $45.6 million for 2010.Interest ExpenseInterest expense for the quarter was $7.8 million, compared to $4.0 million for the prior year due to $500 million of senior notes issued in June 2011. Income Tax ExpenseAs a master limited partnership, Spectra Energy Partners is not subject to federal income taxes, but is subject to state income taxes. An income tax expense of $0.3 million was reported for the fourth quarter 2011, compared to a $1.2 million tax benefit in the prior year quarter. Capital Expenditures and Equity InvestmentsSpectra Energy Partners spent $20.4 million for expansion and maintenance capital in the Gas Transportation and Storage segment during the quarter and $98.4 million for the year.  Investments were made in Gulfstream of $3.8 million for the year and in MHP for $1.8 million for the quarter and $13.5 million for the year.2012 Financial OutlookSpectra Energy Partners also announced its 2012 financial outlook, which includes estimated cash available for distribution of $222 million. Estimated capital expenditures for 2012 of $30 million are for the final completion of projects placed into commercial service in 2011.Additional InformationThe company will discuss both its 2011 performance and 2012 financial outlook in greater detail during the analyst call today.  The analyst conference call is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. CT today, February 3, 2012. The webcast and conference call can be accessed via the investor relations section of Spectra Energy Partners, LP's web site or by dialing (888) 252-3715 in the United States or (706) 634-8942 outside the United States. The Conference ID is 41961892.Please call in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. A replay of the conference call will be available after 12:00 p.m. CT, February 3, 2012, until 5:00 p.m. CT, May 3, 2012, by dialing (855) 859-2056 with Conference ID 41961892. The international replay number is (404) 537-3406 with Conference ID 41961892. A replay and transcript also will be available by accessing the investor relations section of Spectra Energy Partners' web site at http://www.spectraenergypartners.com.Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures This press release includes certain financial measures, including cash available for distribution and adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA), that are non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) financial measures, as defined under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Spectra Energy Partners defines adjusted EBITDA as net income plus interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, less equity in earnings of Gulfstream and MHP, interest income, and other income and expenses, net, which primarily includes non-cash AFUDC.Spectra Energy Partners defines cash available for distribution as adjusted EBITDA plus cash available for distribution from Gulfstream and MHP and net preliminary project costs, less net cash paid for interest expense (income), net cash paid for income taxes and maintenance capital expenditures. Cash available for distribution does not reflect changes in working capital balances. Cash available for distribution for Gulfstream and MHP is defined on a basis consistent with Spectra Energy Partners.This press release is accompanied by a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their nearest GAAP financial measures. Management uses these financial measures because they are accepted financial indicators used by investors to compare company performance. In addition, management believes that these measures provide investors an enhanced perspective of the operating performance of the Partnership's assets and the cash that the business is generating. Adjusted EBITDA and cash available for distribution are not presented as alternatives to net income or cash flow from operations. They should not be considered in isolation or as substitutes for a measure of performance prepared in accordance with United States GAAP. Forward-Looking StatementsThis document includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as: anticipate, believe, intend, estimate, expect, continue, should, could, may, plan, project, predict, will, potential, forecast, and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from the results predicted. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to: state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives that affect cost and investment recovery, have an effect on rate structure, and affect the speed at and degree to which competition enters the natural gas industries; outcomes of litigation and regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries; weather and other natural phenomena, including the economic, operational and other effects of hurricanes and storms; the timing and extent of changes in interest rates; general economic conditions, including the risk of a prolonged economic slowdown or decline, or the risk of delay in a recovery, which can affect the long-term demand for natural gas and related services; potential effects arising from terrorist attacks and any consequential or other hostilities; changes in environmental, safety and other laws and regulations; results and costs of financing efforts, including the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be affected by various factors, including credit ratings and general market and economic conditions; increases in the cost of goods and services required to complete capital projects; growth in opportunities, including the timing and success of efforts to develop domestic pipeline, storage, gathering and other infrastructure projects and the effects of competition; the performance of natural gas transmission, storage and gathering facilities; the extent of success in connecting natural gas supplies to transmission and gathering systems and in connecting to expanding gas markets; the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by accounting standard-setting bodies; conditions of the capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements; and the ability to successfully complete merger, acquisition or divestiture plans; regulatory or other limitations imposed as a result of a merger, acquisition or divestiture; and the success of the business following a merger, acquisition or divestiture. These factors, as well as additional factors that could affect our forward-looking statements, are described in our filings that we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available via the SEC's Web site at www.sec.gov.  In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than we have described.  All forward-looking statements in this release are made as of the date hereof and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Spectra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: SEP) is a Houston-based master limited partnership, formed by Spectra Energy Corp (NYSE: SE), that owns interests in natural gas transportation and storage assets in the United States, including more than 3,200 miles of transmission and gathering pipeline and approximately 57 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas storage. These assets are capable of transporting 3.6 Bcf of natural gas per day from growing supply areas to high demand markets.Spectra Energy Partners, LPQuarterly HighlightsDecember 2011(Unaudited)(In millions, except per-unit amounts)Three Months EndedYear EndedDecember 31,December 31,STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS2011201020112010Operating revenues$              57.9$               50.8$ 205.0$ 197.7Operating expenses33.332.3116.8110.0Operating income24.618.588.287.7Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates  (a)25.421.1107.375.1Other income and expenses, net(0.1)0.42.10.8Interest income0.2-0.50.1Interest expense7.84.025.016.2Earnings before income taxes42.336.0173.1147.5Income tax expense0.3(1.2)1.1(0.4)Net income $              42.0$               37.2$ 172.0$ 147.9Adjusted EBITDA (b) $              32.9$               25.7$ 121.4$ 117.1Cash Available for Distribution (c) $              38.0$               35.0$ 212.4$ 174.5Weighted average units outstanding   Limited partner units96.382.893.181.0   General partner units2.01.71.91.7Net income per limited partner unit$              0.38$               0.41$   1.63$   1.70Declared cash distribution per limited partner unit$            0.475$               0.45$   1.87$   1.74CAPITAL AND INVESTMENT EXPENDITURESCapital expenditures - Gas Transportation & Storage$              20.4$                 6.1$   98.4$   25.8Investment expendituresGulfstream - 49.0% (a)-3.23.85.9Market Hub - 50%1.80.513.516.6Total capital and investment expenditures$              22.2$                 9.8$ 115.7$   48.3December 31,December 31, 20112010DEBTTotal debt$            707.5$             689.8Less: Investment grade securities-209.0Net debt$            707.5$             480.8(a) Represents 24.5% equity interest in the first eleven months of 2010.(b) Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income plus interest expense, income taxes, and depreciation and amortization, less equity in earnings of Gulfstream and Market Hub, interest income, and other income and expenses, net, which primarily includes non-cash allowance for funds used during construction (AFUDC).(c) Cash Available for Distribution is defined as Adjusted EBITDA plus Cash Available for Distribution from Gulfstream and Market Hub and net preliminary project costs, less net cash paid for interest and income tax expense, and maintenance capital expenditures, excluding impact of reimbursable projects. Cash Available for Distribution does not reflect changes in working capital balances. Spectra Energy PartnersReconciliation of Non-GAAP "Adjusted EBITDA" and "Cash Available for Distribution" (Unaudited)(In millions)Three Months EndedYear EndedDecember 31,December 31,2011201020112010Net income $ 42.0$ 37.2$ 172.0$ 147.9Add:Interest expense 7.84.025.016.2Income tax expense/(benefit)0.3(1.2)1.1(0.4)Depreciation and amortization8.37.233.229.4Less:Equity in earnings of Gulfstream16.311.864.735.5Equity in earnings of Market Hub9.19.342.639.6Interest income0.2-0.50.1Other income and expenses, net(0.1)0.42.10.8Adjusted EBITDA32.925.7121.4117.1Add:Cash Available for Distribution from Gulfstream11.48.781.043.0Cash Available for Distribution from Market Hub9.510.946.045.6Preliminary project costs, net0.1-0.1-Less:Cash paid for interest expense, net14.16.023.015.7Cash paid for income tax expense---0.7Maintenance capital expenditures1.84.313.114.8Cash Available for Distribution$ 38.0$ 35.0$ 212.4$ 174.5GulfstreamReconciliation of Non-GAAP "Adjusted EBITDA" and "Cash Available for Distribution" (Unaudited)(In millions)Three Months EndedYear EndedDecember 31,December 31,2011201020112010Net income $ 33.2$ 34.7$ 132.0$ 131.6Add:     Interest expense 17.517.469.969.8     Depreciation and amortization8.98.735.435.0Less:     Other income and expenses, net-0.3-0.9Adjusted EBITDA - 100%59.660.5237.3235.5Add:  Preliminary project costs, net0.40.21.10.6Less:     Cash paid for interest expense, net35.135.270.370.3     Maintenance capital expenditures1.70.82.81.3Cash Available for Distribution - 100%$ 23.2$ 24.7$ 165.3$ 164.5Adjusted EBITDA - 49.0% (a)$ 29.2$ 20.1$ 116.2$   63.0Cash Available for Distribution - 49.0% (a)$ 11.4$   8.7$   81.0$   43.0(a) Represents 24.5% equity interest in the first eleven months of 2010.Market Hub Reconciliation of Non-GAAP "Adjusted EBITDA" and "Cash Available for Distribution" (Unaudited)(In millions)Three Months EndedYear EndedDecember 31,December 31,2011201020112010Net income$ 18.3$ 18.7$ 85.4$ 79.3Add:     Interest expense 0.10.10.10.1     Income tax expense--0.20.2     Depreciation and amortization2.83.810.814.5Less:  Interest income--0.10.2     Other income and expenses, net---0.6Adjusted EBITDA - 100%21.222.696.493.3Less:     Cash (received) for interest expense, net--(0.1)(0.1)     Cash paid for income tax expense0.20.30.20.3     Maintenance capital expenditures2.00.64.42.0Cash Available for Distribution - 100%$ 19.0$ 21.7$ 91.9$ 91.1Adjusted EBITDA - 50%$ 10.6$ 11.3$ 48.2$ 46.7Cash Available for Distribution - 50%$   9.5$ 10.9$ 46.0$ 45.6SOURCE Spectra Energy Partners, LPFor further information: Derick Smith, +1-713-627-4963