Monday, May 11, 2009

NuStar reports decline in first quarter 2009, income, announces distribution

SAN ANTONIO. Texas - NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS) on April 30 announced net income applicable to limited partners of $31.6 million, or $0.58 per unit, for the first quarter of 2009, compared to $49.6 million, or $1.01 per unit, earned in the first quarter of 2008.
"However, a year-over-year quarterly comparison is largely meaningless as NuStar's business changed dramatically with its acquisition of the former CITGO asphalt refining and marketing operations near the end of the first quarter of 2008," said Curt Anastasio, CEO and president of NuStar Energy L.P. and NuStar GP Holdings, LLC. "Because of the inherent seasonality of the asphalt business, our first quarter 2009 results are burdened with all of the additional cost and expense of that operation while the vast majority of the financial benefit will be generated during the second and third quarters. The important takeaway for our unitholders is that the financial results of our transportation and storage segments during the first quarter of 2009 were actually better than last year. And, for the full year 2009, the asphalt operations are expected to provide an even bigger boost to earnings and cash flow than they did in 2008.
Included in NuStar Energy L.P.'s earnings results for the first quarter of 2009 is a $4.7 million, or $0.08 per unit, gain, net of tax, related to property insurance proceeds received due to damage incurred from Hurricane Ike that occurred at the Texas City, Texas, terminal in the third quarter of 2008. Excluding the effect of the Hurricane and other items, first quarter 2009 adjusted earnings would have been $25.8 million, or $0.47 per unit.
NuStar Energy L.P. also announced that its board has declared a distribution of $1.0575 per unit, which would equate to $4.23 per unit on an annual basis. The quarterly distribution represents an increase of $0.0725 per unit, or 7.4 percent, over the $0.985 distribution for the first quarter of 2008, but is unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2008. The first quarter 2009 distribution will be paid on May 15 to holders of record on May 8.
Distributable cash flow available to limited partners for the first quarter of 2009 was $69.4 million, or $1.28 per unit, compared to $72.0 million, or $1.46 per unit, for the first quarter of 2008. This was the third best quarterly distributable cash flow performance since NuStar Energy L.P. went public in 2001.

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