Spectra Energy (SE)
Company Profile: Houston-based Spectra Energy, through its subsidiaries and equity affiliates, owns and operates a portfolio of complementary natural gas-related energy assets.On Jan. 3, Spectra Energy announced a 4% increase to its quarterly cash dividend, paying 26 cents per share, a penny higher than its prior payout. The increased dividend will be paid on March 14 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11, bringing Spectra Energy's yield to around 4.1%. On Jan. 24, Spectra Energy announced that its Houston-based master limited partnership, Spectra Energy Partners (SEP), increased its dividend by 2.3% to 45 cents per share. The cash payout will be available Feb. 14 to shareholders of record on Feb. 4. On Jan. 22, research analysts from Jefferies upgraded Spectra Energy shares to buy from hold, setting a $28 price target on the stock. Spectra Energy recently received regulatory approval from Canada's National Energy Board for a new three-year negotiated toll settlement that defines the economic factors and provisions for establishing tolls, and maintains service standards for its British Columbia pipeline. Spectra Energy's BC Pipeline facilities comprise the main natural gas transmission pipeline system in British Columbia which has the capacity to transport over 2.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. On Feb. 3 Spectra announced a 45% jump in its fourth-quarter profits, attributed to improving prices for liquefied natural gas and the strengthening Canadian dollar. Spectra said net profits came to $320 million, or 49 cents per share, in the recent quarter, up from $218 million, or 33 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue grew 7% to $1.38 billion. Bottom-line results topped analysts' expectations while the top-line figure came up short. Spectra said pre-tax earnings grew in each of its business segments last quarter, led by a 40% jump in field services, 32% in distribution, 21% in transmissions operations and 9% in its Western Canada transmission and processing business.
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