The reason for the drop is the possible issuance of up to $300,000,000 of common units. http://biz.yahoo.com/e/090826/etp8-k.html I think that this may be a good sign in that they may have found an investment that would be immediately profitable to ETP. And that they are fileing in advance of this investment. Question is how low will ETP go before it recovers?
If they have to issue a lot to cover the FERC penalty...... not good! I think that is the bigger news item and perhaps the choice to raise equity to pay the fine is of necessity but hurts shareholder value near term.
Don't be a "chicken little", ferdie. Energy Transfer has plenty of available liquidity to pay off the FERC..."As of June 30th we have almost all of our $2 billion revolving credit facility available to us." If the fine was that large, they wouldn't be settling...they would take their chances with the administrative judge. The units they are issuing to UBS will help pay for capex for their pipeline projects like MEP, Tiger, and Texas Independence.
If they were issuing stock to cover their settlement with the FERC then they would be selling shares now not later. Therefore I still think that as they said in their conference call they were looking for opportunities to buy investments that would be immediately profitable to ETP. But until they come out with some kind of an anunouncement we can only speculate.