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MPLX LP (MPLX) Lags Q4 Earnings and Sales Estimates

Zacks Equity Research

An Earnings Beat: MPLX LP MPLX reported earnings of 52 cents per unit, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 68 cents and the year-ago profit of 31 cents. The weaker than expected results from Logistics & Storage along with Gathering & Processing Units led to the underperformance. Precisely, the operating income Logistics & Storage operating income came in at $449 million, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $543 million. The income from Gathering & Processing segment also missed the estimate of $419 million by a huge margin.

Estimate Revision Trend & Surprise History: The stock had seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fourth-quarter earnings revised up by a penny over the last 30 days.

Coming to earnings surprise history, the company has a mixed record: its beaten estimates in two of the last four quarters, as shown in the chart below:

MPLX LP Price and EPS Surprise

MPLX LP Price and EPS Surprise | MPLX LP Quote

Revenues: Revenues of $1,715 million were 58% above the fourth-quarter 2017 sales of $1,085 million. However, the top line lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,753 million.

Key Tidbits:

MPLX’s operating income from its Logistics and Supply segment witnessed a massive jump of 179% to $449 million. The outperformance can be attributed to the dropdown transactions related to its pipelines and refining logistics assets.

Operating income from Gathering and Processing segment also increased to $217 million compared with $174 million in the prior-year quarter on the back of higher volumes and product margins.

Distributable cash flow available to limited partners witnessed a 57.5% increase to $701 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, providing 1.32x distribution coverage. Distribution per unit was 64.75 cents as against 60.75 cents in the prior year quarter. This marks a 6.6% hike from the year-ago period, representing the 24th consecutive quarterly distribution increase.  

Moreover, cash flow from operating activities in the quarter under review increased to $799 million vis a vis $569 recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

Zacks Rank: Currently, MPLX LP carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

(You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.)

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