Buckeye Partners, L.P. BPL reported third-quarter 2017 earnings of 81 cents per unit, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents by 5.8%. Moreover, it was lower than the year-ago figure of $1.19 by 31.9%.

Third-quarter earnings were impacted by lower capacity utilization during the quarter, due to the exit of a long-term customer from one of the facilities. Additionally, the company’s facilities and operations in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Florida and Corpus Christi were affected by hurricanes.

Total Revenue

In the quarter under review, Buckeye Partners’ total revenue came in at $922.6 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $828 million by 11.4%.

Total revenues were up 20.3% year over year owing to better performance of Merchant Services segment in third-quarter 2017.

Operational Highlights

In the third quarter, the partnership’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations increased 2.1% year over year to $277.3 million.

Total costs and expenses were $754.7 million, up 34.7%. The partnership’s operating income was down 18.5% to nearly $168 million from $206.2 million a year ago.

Interest and debt expenses increased 16.7% to $56.6 million.

Financial Screening

As of Sep 30, 2017, Buckeye Partners had cash and cash equivalents of $7.9 million compared with $640.3 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Long-term debt as of Sep 30, 2017 was $4,593.6 million, higher than $4,217.7 million as of Dec 31, 2016.

Total capital expenditure in third-quarter 2017 was $100.7 million, down 12.5% from nearly $156 million a year ago.

Cash Distribution Update

The partnership announced fourth-quarter 2017 cash distribution of $1.2625 per limited partner unit, up 3.1% from the prior-year payout of $1.2250 per limited partner unit. The revised distribution will be paid on Nov 20, 2017, to unit holders of record as of Nov 13.

Buckeye Partners L.P. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Peer Release

ONEOK, Inc. OKE reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of 43 cents per share, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 45 cents.

Upcoming Peer Release

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation CPK is expected to report third-quarter 2017 results on Nov 9. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 35 cents per share.

Spire Inc. SR is expected to report third-quarter 2017 results on Nov 15. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 29 cent per share.

Zacks Rank

Buckeye Partners currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?

Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.

Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.

See the pot trades we’re targeting>>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE): Free Stock Analysis Report
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK): Free Stock Analysis Report
Buckeye Partners L.P. (BPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
Spire Inc. (SR): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.