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Citi upgrades Buckeye Partners to 'Neutral'

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Citi analyst on Monday upgraded Buckeye Partners LP to "Neutral" from "Sell," pointing to the pipeline company's strong operational performance over the past two quarters.

THE OPINION: John Tysseland, who also raised his price target for the company's units by $6 to $55, said the partnership also has had success with several crude logistics projects and is making progress in gaining additional storage mandates and more profitable contracts at its marine terminal in the Bahamas.

Buckeye's Borco terminal is one of the largest crude oil and petroleum products storage facilities in the world, serving the international markets as a global logistics hub.

Tysseland said that 2013 will be a key transitional year for the partnership as it completes expansion projects at Borco, along with a key rail project. With the full benefits of those projects operating in 2014, the analyst said he expects the partnership to return to historical annual distribution growth of 4 percent to 5 percent.

THE UNITS: Down 9 cents to $53.04 in morning trading. Over the past year, the units have traded between $44.37 and $63.98.

Over the past year, they have lost about 17 percent of their value.