TULSA, Okla. – Williams Energy Partners (WGN) on Friday raised its fourth-quarter earnings outlook by more than 55 percent, citing strong results from its pipeline operations.
The company estimated earnings of 70 cents per share, up from a previous forecast of 45 cents. Analysts have been expecting a profit of 44 cents to 54 cents, with the average at 48 cents, according to research firm Thomson First Call.
Besides its pipeline operations, Williams attributed its higher profit outlook to the recent completion of $420 million in long-term debt financing.
The company's shares were up $1.30, or 4 percent, at $34.20 in morning New York Stock Exchange trade.
Williams said the termination of its agreement to purchase a petroleum products pipeline from Tesoro Petroleum Corp. does not affect its earnings outlook because the previous estimates did not include the proposed acquisition.
Chief Executive Don Wellendorf said in a press release that Williams would have benefited from the pipeline purchase, but "timing issues" related to gaining antitrust approval from the Federal Trade Commission caused Tesoro to end the agreement.
Tesoro said it has instead agreed to sell the pipeline to Kaneb Pipe Line Partners for $100 million — $10 million less than Williams had agreed to pay.
Williams's new quarterly outlook raised the company's earnings estimate for the full year to $3.40 per share from $3.09. Analysts expect a profit of $3.09 to $3.28, with the mean at $3.15, First Call said.