Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Units of Energy Transfer Partners declined about 28% over a year, displaying weak price movement both in absolute and relative terms. The partnership is grappling with various challenges relating to its growth projects which are denting the near term prospects of the stock. Its large-scale Dakota Access pipeline is facing continued opposition from the environmentalists and Sioux tribe. Additionally, the construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline has also been suspended since the partnership has failed to comply with the Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety Act. Moreover, the partnership is burdened with high debt which restricts its financial flexibility. We also need to factor ETP’s low return on equity and dismal earnings surprise history. All these factors have made us turn bearish on the stock for the time being.”

ETP has been the subject of several other reports. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $21.00 price target (down from $24.00) on shares of Energy Transfer Partners in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Energy Transfer Partners from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $20.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Citigroup reduced their price target on Energy Transfer Partners from $29.00 to $26.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. BMO Capital Markets set a $26.00 price target on Energy Transfer Partners and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 12th. Finally, Mizuho set a $26.00 price target on Energy Transfer Partners and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Sunday, October 15th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Energy Transfer Partners has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $25.86.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) opened at $18.34 on Monday. Energy Transfer Partners has a twelve month low of $15.25 and a twelve month high of $26.69. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.09. The firm has a market capitalization of $21,190.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.57 and a beta of 0.91.

Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The pipeline company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.22 by $0.11. Energy Transfer Partners had a return on equity of 5.88% and a net margin of 4.97%. The firm had revenue of $6.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.31 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned ($0.49) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 26.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Energy Transfer Partners will post 0.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, February 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 8th will be given a dividend of $0.565 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, February 7th. This represents a $2.26 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 12.32%. Energy Transfer Partners’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 376.67%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ETP. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Energy Transfer Partners by 111.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,489,481 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $91,540,000 after purchasing an additional 2,361,689 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC boosted its position in Energy Transfer Partners by 9,517.3% in the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 2,659,844 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $48,649,000 after purchasing an additional 2,632,187 shares during the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Energy Transfer Partners in the third quarter worth about $361,000. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in Energy Transfer Partners by 7,819.9% in the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 37,778 shares of the pipeline company’s stock worth $691,000 after purchasing an additional 37,301 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new position in Energy Transfer Partners in the third quarter worth about $4,708,000. 61.05% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Energy Transfer Partners

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., formerly Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., owns and operates a logistics business. The Company is engaged in the transport, terminaling and storage of crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Company’s segments include Crude Oil, Natural Gas Liquids and Refined Products.

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