Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boardwalk Pipeline 1Q profit down 8.1 percent on higher costs

NEW YORK - Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: BWP) on April 29 announced that first-quarter profit fell 8.1 percent as lower sales in its storage and lending business and higher operating costs reduced the partnership's bottom line.

Boardwalk posted a first-quarter profit of $83 million, or 42 cents a unit, compared with a prior-year profit of $90.3 million, or 46 cents a unit. The latest quarter included $11.8 million in debt-retirement charges and a $5 million charge stemming from a compressor station fire. Overall operating revenue grew 3.5 percent to $311 million.

The earnings per unit significantly missed the most recently forecast per-share earnings of 48 cents on revenue of $313 million by analysts at Thomson Reuters.

Revenue from gas transportation, the company's largest sales segment, grew 6.8 percent, while gas storage revenue fell 8.6 percent. Parking and lending revenue dropped 66 percent due to unfavorable market conditions.

Loews Corp., a conglomerate led by New York's Tisch family, holds a 20 percent stake in Boardwalk. (Source: Boardwalk news release)

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