Energy Transfer Equity LP (NYSE:ETE) reported financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015.

Distributable Cash Flow, as adjusted, was $343 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015 as compared to $243 million for the same period last year, an increase of $100 million. Distributable Cash Flow, as adjusted, per unit was $0.32 for the three months ended December 31, 2015, an increase of 45% compared to the three months ended December 31, 2014. ETE’s net income attributable to partners was $314 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015, as compared to net income of $113 million for the same period last year, an increase of $201 million, including the impacts of non-cash goodwill impairments in 2014 and 2015.

Distributable Cash Flow, as adjusted, for the year ended December 31, 2015, was $1.33 billion as compared to$895 million for last year, an increase of $430 million. Distributable Cash Flow, as adjusted, per unit was $1.24for 2015, an increase of 51% from 2014. ETE’s net income attributable to partners was $1.19 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, as compared to $633 million for last year, an increase of $556 million, or 88%.

The Partnership’s recent key accomplishments and other developments include the following:

  • In December 2015, the Lake Charles LNG Project received approval from the FERC to site, construct and operate a natural gas liquefaction and export facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. On February 15, 2016, Royal Dutch Shell plc completed its acquisition of BG Group plc. Final investment decisions fromRoyal Dutch Shell plc and Lake Charles LNG Export Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (“ETP”) and ETE, are expected to be made in 2016, with construction to start immediately following an affirmative investment decision and first LNG export anticipated about four years later.
  • In November 2015, ETP and Sunoco LP announced ETP’s contribution to Sunoco LP of the remaining 68.42% interest in Sunoco, LLC and 100% interest in the legacy Sunoco, Inc. retail business for $2.23 billion. Sunoco LP will pay ETP $2.03 billion in cash, subject to certain working capital adjustments, and will issue to ETP 5.7 million Sunoco LP common units. The transaction will be effective as of January 1, 2016, and is expected to close in March 2016.
  • On January 27, 2016, the Partnership announced its quarterly cash distribution of $0.285 per ETE common unit for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2015, or $1.14 per unit on an annualized basis.
  • As of December 31, 2015, ETE’s $1.5 billion revolving credit facility had $860 million of outstanding borrowings and its leverage ratio, as defined by the credit agreement, was 2.96x.

The Partnership’s principal sources of cash flow are derived from distributions related to its direct and indirect investments in the limited and general partner interests in ETP, including 100% of ETP’s incentive distribution rights, ETP Common Units, ETP Class I Units, and, through ETP Class H Units, which track 90% of the underlying economics of the general partner interest and IDRs of Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P (“Sunoco Logistics”), distributions related to its investments in the general partner interests in Sunoco Logistics, limited and general partner interest in Sunoco LP, as well as the Partnership’s ownership of Lake Charles LNG. Prior to ETP’s acquisition of Regency Energy Partners LP (“Regency”), the Partnership’s sources of cash flow were also derived from its direct and indirect investments in the limited and general partner of Regency. The Partnership’s primary cash requirements are for general and administrative expenses, debt service requirements and distributions to its partners. (Original Source)

Shares of Energy Transfer Equity are down 6% in after-hours trading. ETE has a 1-year high of $35.44 and a 1-year low of $4. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $7.87 and its 200-day moving average is $17.35.

On the ratings front, ETE has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on February 17, Merrill Lynch analyst Gabe Moreen downgraded ETE to Hold, with a price target of $8, which represents a potential upside of 11.6% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on February 8, Robert W. Baird’s Ethan Bellamy downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $7.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Gabe Moreen and Ethan Bellamy have a total average return of 5.4% and 5.0% respectively. Moreen has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #639 out of 3664 analysts, while Bellamy has a success rate of 62.1% and is ranked #616.

Energy Transfer Equity LP is a limited partnership company. The Company through its subsidiaries, owns and operates, natural gas gathering systems, natural gas intrastate pipeline systems and gas processing plants.