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TSC Ratings' Updates: Buckeye

The following ratings changes were generated on Monday, Jan. 26.

We've upgraded Buckeye Partners (BPL), which engages in the transportation, terminalling and storage of refined petroleum products for integrated oil companies, from hold to buy, driven by its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Revenue leaped by 294.9% since the same quarter a year ago, and EPS improved by 11.3%. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years, and we feel that this trend should continue. Net income is up 28.1% compared with the year-ago quarter, rising from #36.4 million to $46.6 million. Net operating cash flow increased by 109.2% to $71.2 million. Return on equity has improved slightly, outperforming the S&P 500 but underperforming the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry.

We've upgraded public utility company CenterPoint Energy (CNP) from hold to buy, driven by its compelling growth in net income, robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, impressive record of earnings per share growth and relatively strong performance when compared with the S&P 500 during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

Net income rose 49.5% compared with the same quarter a year ago, from $91 million to $136 million. Revenue rose by 33.6%, and ROE improved slightly. EPS are up 44.4% in the most recent quarter compared with the same quarter last year. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently, but we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year.

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