Shares of Spectra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE:SEP) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Wednesday . Approximately 995,687 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 128% from the previous session’s volume of 436,551 shares.The stock last traded at $45.68 and had previously closed at $46.34.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on SEP shares. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $53.00 price target on shares of Spectra Energy Partners, in a research report on Thursday, July 7th. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group started coverage on Spectra Energy Partners, in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $55.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered Spectra Energy Partners, from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on Spectra Energy Partners, from $53.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on Spectra Energy Partners, in a research report on Wednesday, May 11th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $48.00 target price on the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $54.62.

The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $47.45 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.92. The stock has a market cap of $13.97 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.53.

Spectra Energy Partners, (NYSE:SEP) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.10. The company earned $618 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $645.60 million. Spectra Energy Partners,’s revenue was up 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.83 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Spectra Energy Partners, LP will post $3.33 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 26th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.6638 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 11th. This is an increase from Spectra Energy Partners,’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.66 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.75%.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of SEP. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP boosted its stake in Spectra Energy Partners, by 172.1% in the fourth quarter. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP now owns 2,603,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,149,000 after buying an additional 1,646,400 shares during the last quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Spectra Energy Partners, during the fourth quarter valued at $24,818,000. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in Spectra Energy Partners, by 101.0% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 274,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,100,000 after buying an additional 137,972 shares during the last quarter.

Spectra Energy Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries and equity affiliates, is engaged in the transmission, storage and gathering of natural gas, the transportation and storage of crude oil, and the transportation of natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Company’s segments include U.S. Transmission, Liquids and Other.

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