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Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. Message Board

  • chowder13037 chowder13037 Feb 15, 2012 4:41 PM Flag

    Dividend Payout is more than they're EPS

    I can't understand how this company can pay out dividends of $3.575 on EPS of $2.53 in 2009 Then in 2010 they paid $3.575 Dividend on $1.19 EPS in 2010. Are they eating up their Market cap to keep up their Dividend or going into Debt.

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    • Factoids has bombarded the MLPs with requests for reporting changes. He and I have spent many hours discussing clarity. There is no standard announting principle for DCF, but ETP is the only MLP I am aware of that includes the GP incentive payment in DCF.

      Brent and I are on a first name basis too. I think we are moving toward the general standard. Now the people we need to educate are those who report the EPS is either up or down.

      How a $11M expense could be considered as part of DCF to the unitholders is beyond me. I do suggest that EBITDA is a standard and should be readily understood. DCF is not that much different.


    • Well, sort of. Distributable cash flow is reported differently by the different MLPs, as there isn't a set definition of the term. For example, some define maintenance cash expenses as just maintaining their existing system and others define it as the amount required to be spent to maintain the existing amount of DCF.

      Some just report DCF on an annual basis (MMP I believe is an example). ETP reports quarterly, but doesn't breakdown what is available to the limited unitholders (anyone owning ETP units). A few are good and report quarterly the amount that is available to just the limited unit holders (which makes calculating the coverage ratio easy) or report the coverage ratio quarterly (like WPZ).

      The only way that investor relationships will change how they present it is if we let them know what format we want them to present the activity in and find informative for investing purposes. There is a poster named Factoids that has championed annual campaigns of letter writing to the investor relations people. If you search between January and February 2011 here and at the IV board, you should find contact information for investor relations as well as pre-formated letters that you can just copy and email.

      Heck, I'm half tempted to start the ball rolling on it again (and updating the letters and whatnot myself and reposting). Granted, ETP may be against doing it for the time being (and god knows I hound their IR person about it enough), as their annual (and most quarters) coverage ratio is less than 1x (which isn't a good thing).

    • Thank you... its difficult enough to really get to understand the metrics on MLPs and then ETP has to go and report DCF differently than everyone else

    • focus on dcf not eps

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