HOUSTON (AP) -- Natural gas pipeline operator Spectra Energy Partners LP said its fourth-quarter net income rose 13 percent from the year before as new acquisitions helped boost revenue.
The company said Friday that its net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $42 million, or 38 cents per limited partner unit, compared to $37.2 million, or 41 cents per limited partner unit during the prior year period.
The amount of earnings per unit decreased between quarters, even as net income increased, because the company boosted the number of units during 2011. It also increased its quarterly cash payment to unit holders to 47.5 cents per unit from 45 cents per unit the year before.
The company said revenue during the quarter was $57.9 million, up from $50.8 million a year earlier.
The results were slightly below analyst expectations for net income of 39 cents per unit on $60.9 million in revenue.
Spectra benefited from its acquisition late in 2010 of an additional 24.5 percent interest in Gulfstream natural gas pipeline and its July 1 acquisition of the Big Sandy Pipeline.
For the full year, the company reported net income of $172 million, or $1.63 per unit, compared to $147.9 million, or $1.70 per unit, the year before. As with the fourth quarter, per-unit income declined only because there were more units available. The company boosted its cash payment for the year to $1.87 per unit from $1.74 per unit.
Revenue was $205 million, up from $197.7 million the year before.
The results were just below analyst expectations for net income of $1.65 per share on $207.1 million in revenue for the year.
Shares rose 43 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $32.24.