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Enterprise Products Partners L.P. Message Board

  • garymiller60 garymiller60 Aug 20, 2011 12:32 PM Flag

    Motley Fool on "Questionable" Free Cash flow

    This article caused me to go back and look at the stats for EPD. According to Valueline, Return on Partners capital (similar to Return on Equity for a common stock) was 12.1% in FY 2010 and predicted to rise in 2011. Return on total capital, which would include the above plus borrowed funds, was 7.0% in 2010 and also predicted to rise in 2011. This means that management is, IMO, earning a good, if not spectacular return on every dollar sunk into the company. Now, looking at the cash flow statement as broken down in this article, one can see that the largest use of cash was capital expenditures, that is money plowed back into the business,primarily for expanding the gathering system or maintaining existing infrastructure. What's wrong with this use of cash? Nothing, if management can continue to earn healthy returns on invested capital, I see nothing wrong with reduced Free Cash Flow. Smart investment of income is a sign of good managment. The author's focus on "questionable" sources of free cash (which for TTM 2011 are insignificant, when compared to money invested in the biz) is interesting but not particularly relevant.

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